CAIRO, At a ceremony in Cairo today, Egyptair officially became the 21st member of Star Alliance, bringing with it 1,624 weekly flights to 69 destinations around the world. Egyptair is the nation"s flag carrier, and will strengthen the alliance"s network throughout Africa and the Middle East.
The announcement at the Cairo International Airport marked the end of a nine-month integration project in which the airline adapted its reservation, ticketing, frequent flyer and other customer-oriented programmes to work more closely with the infrastructure of the other members of the alliance.
Star Alliance was Egyptair"s choice of alliances mainly because it is the biggest, strongest and most dynamic of the alliances, focusing on rendering high quality services to passengers while minimising costs a concept that Egyptair wholeheartedly agrees with, said Capt. Tawfik Assy, CEO, Egyptair Holding Company. Egyptair"s strategic regional location will enable Cairo Airport to become a major hub for the Star Alliance family and a gateway for the Middle East and North Africa, he said.
With the addition of Egyptair to the alliance we have become the major alliance serving Africa, with half of our members flying to the African continent, said Jaan Albrecht, CEO, Star Alliance. The economic and business climate of Africa is getting the world"s attention. Star Alliance is well positioned to serve the business interests of the continent by having Egyptair in the north, South African Airways in the south, and nine other member airlines flying to Africa.
As a major part of its increased role as a hub, the Cairo Airport Authority is completing work on a new terminal. When Terminal 3 opens this fall, it will be a dedicated Star Alliance terminal serving passengers of seven Star Alliance members. The new terminal will have a capacity to serve 11 million passengers annually.
About Star Alliance:
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance received the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award in 2008 and was voted Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller Magazine in 2003, 2006 and 2007 and by Skytrax in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
The members are Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, Egyptair, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Air India and Continental Airlines has been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 18,100 daily flights to 975 destinations in 162 countries.
Egyptair is the world-renowned national airline of the Egypt, based in the cosmopolitan city of Cairo. In more than 76 years, Egyptair has experienced extraordinary growth, taken the lead to be the first airline in the Middle East and Africa and the seventh in the world to join IATA and become a treasured brand.
Throughout its 76 years of service and, as a result of continuous investments, Egyptair has successfully extended its network to reach more than 1,624 weekly departures to 69 cities in 44 countries carrying more than 6.8 million passengers in 10 months from July, 2007 to April, 2008 with an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period last year. Currently, Egyptair has one of the most modern fleets with an average age of eight years, which consists of 50 aircraft targeting to reach 75 aircraft by 2013.
In 2004, Egyptair demonstrated the scale of its commitment to the highest standards of safety by being the first IOSA certified airline in the Middle East and Africa.