The Star Alliance announced on Tuesday that Thai Smile Airways has been welcomed as a new Star Alliance Connecting Partner. Introduced in 2017, the Star Alliance Connecting Partner program allows connections to the alliance network without becoming a member.
Today, the Star Alliance announced that Thai Smile Airways, a subsidiary of Thai Airways International (THAI), has been welcomed as a new Star Alliance Connecting Partner. The program was first introduced in May 2017 and allows carriers to connect to the Star Alliance Network without becoming a member airline. The partnership announced today is the first-ever of its kind in Thailand and today's celebration included a traditional Thai performance at THAI Airways International’s Bangkok headquarters. In today’s announcement, the Star Alliance’s CEO Jeffrey Goh said,
“Our Connecting Partner model was introduced three years ago to offer airlines an attractive way to connect to our global alliance network without requiring full membership, and we are continuing to expand the model to provide customers with more travel options. I am pleased to welcome Thai Smile Airways today as a Star Alliance Connecting Partner, from which customers will benefit through greater connectivity and enhanced services in Asia.”
Thai Smile Airways offers 396 weekly flights to 32 destinations in nine countries and the new partnership will add ten new destinations to the Star Alliance network. Starting today, customers travelling on certain Star Alliance member airline itineraries can connect to Thai Smile with a single booking. Guests will benefit from passenger and baggage through check-in and Star Alliance Silver and Gold members will enjoy a tailored set of privileges. Currently, these benefits are available to customers connecting between Thai Smile Airways and Austrian, Lufthansa, SWISS and Thai Airways International. Also commenting on Tuesday’s announcement, THAI Smile Airways’ CEO, Charita Leelayudth added,
“Today marks an important milestone for Thai Smile Airways, and we are delighted to become a Connecting Partner. It brings tremendous value to our customers and the region we serve and is a strategic step that positions THAI Smile Airways as an important regional player. We are committed to delivering exceptional travel experiences to new generations of travellers at affordable prices with seamless connections to our parent company Thai Airways International (THAI), a Star Alliance member. Our focus remains on strengthening THAI’s route network for the highest cost-efficiency and competitiveness.”
Further commenting on Thai Smile’s new Star Alliance Connecting Partner status, Thai Airways International’s President, Mr. Sumeth Damrongchaitham said,
“As for our future plans, THAI Smile Airways will be further developed as a leading regional airline that flies domestically in THAI’s stead and as a networking flight operator.”
Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines became the first Star Alliance Connecting Partner in May 2017 and the alliance continues to evaluate opportunities for the addition of new partners. Established in 1997, the Star Alliance became the first truly global airline alliance to provide seamless connectivity to international travelers. The Star Alliance has 27 international member airlines and offers over 19,000 daily flights to more than 1,300 airports in 195 countries.
Source: Star Alliance