Star Alliance turned 20 on 14 May. And under the motto of “Connecting People and Cultures”, representatives of all member companies met in Frankfurt to mark the date and discuss a strategy of harnessing new technologies during the next decade. TAP, which joined the alliance in 2005, was represented by its CEO, Fernando Pinto.
Founded in 1997 by Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, THAI and United, Star Alliance was the first global aviation alliance and is now the largest, with 28 current members, including TAP which joined in 2005.
“Our founding fathers had a very forward thinking vision back in 1997,” said Jeffrey Goh, who took over as CEO of Star Alliance in January this year. “From that moment on Star Alliance was destined to drive innovation in the airline industry. We have done this successfully for the last 20 years, constantly striving to meet that original vision of a global network seamlessly integrated for international travel.”
TAP Flight Attendant Elsa Fragata was also present, taking part in photo shoots with crew members from the other companies. In her blog, Voar sem Escalas (Fly Non-Stop featured in the most recent issue of WHAT’S|UP), Elsa says: “We inevitably exchanged stories, and it could not have been more rewarding. The many selfies we all took are proof of the fun and goodwill, and of the pride that unites us.” Speaking of the TAP uniform she wears every day and at many of the sessions, she wrote that it was chosen as the nicest. “Everyone wanted to try on the hat... even those whose uniform also had one! A colleague from SAS even sent a photo of my hat to her Crew Manager, asking for one the same!”
The Alliance now enters its third decade with a strong and comprehensive network serving more than 1,300 destinations in 191 countries. Connectivity continues to expand by member carriers launching new routes and increasing the number of flights, which is the case with TAP, having announced 10 new routes since the end of 2016.