Turkey's national air carrier joined world's airlines alliance network on Tuesday. Turkish Airlines (THY) was welcomed as the 20th Star Alliance member airline at a ceremony in Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.
With an additional 31 destinations, mainly in Turkey, Central Asia and the Middle East, customers now have more choice than ever before when travelling on the Star Alliance network. Overall, the world's most experienced aviation alliance now offers customers the choice of 18,000 daily flights serving 965 airports in 162 countries.
"With Turkish Airlines we have gained a new member carrier with a strong home market which is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world," said Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO, at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. Albrecht said Star Alliance can now offer benefits to a large number of new travellers and simplify travel for its existing customers to many of the new emerging markets.
Turkish Airlines is now offering the wide-ranging customer benefits of Star Alliance. These include among others:
- through check-in on journeys involving more than one Star Alliance member carrier from the originating airport;
- full frequent flyer reciprocity: All Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles members can now collect and redeem miles on all other Star Alliance member carriers;
- Star Alliance Gold status for Miles & Smiles Elite and Elite Plus: These customers can now access alliance-wide benefits which include access to more than 790 lounges world-wide, extra-baggage allowance, priority baggage delivery, dedicated check-in counters and priority waitlist in reservation and airport stand-by;
- Star Alliance Silver Status for Miles & Smiles Classic Plus:-These customers are now entitled to priority waitlist (reservation) and airport stand-by;
- Turkish Airlines will sell the 11 different Star Alliance Fare Products, which include among others the popular Round the World Fare, and North American and European Airpasses;
- Turkish Airlines will also participate in Star Alliance's Corporate Plus and Conventions Plus products.
Turkish Airlines is already one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe, passenger traffic growth of 23.5 percent according to Association of European Airlines, and holds a strategic position between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Turkish Airlines has already outlined its further expansion course both in terms of network and fleet. By the end of the year Turkish Airlines plans to start flying to 11 new destinations and add an additional 22 aircraft. This will further improve the flight connections provided by the Star Alliance network.