So it is with great joy that I pass on today’s news that Shanghai Airlines will be joining the Star Alliance mileage network. The Star Alliance presently consists of United Airlines, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, Swiss International Air Lines, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways International, US Airways (America West), and Varig (Brazil). Rumours have been “flying” about Air India, and Qatar Airways also possibly joining the Star Alliance fold.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the “three main global airline alliances are scrambling to line up members in China, where there has been a boom in air travel.” The SkyTeam alliance (Air France, Aeroflot, KLM, AeroMexico, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Czech Airlines, Northwest Airlines (NWA), and Korean Air), already has inked a deal to have China Southern in its fold, while the Oneworld Alliance (American Airlines, , Iberia, LAN (Chile), Qantas, Finnair, has also been wooing Air China, in which Cathay Pacific has a 10% stake. The WSJ says that if Air China joins the Star Alliance, China Eastern Airlines would likely become Oneworld’s new target.