Airlines boost link

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The Independent Online
One of the world's largest international air alliances will announce closer ties this week with the launch of an umbrella brand for the grouping, writes Ian Griffiths.

United Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Thai Airways and Air Canada will unveil the Star Alliance which will be adopted as a common brand across the group. Each airline will continue to fly in its own livery but will carry the Star logo.

The launch of the Star brand will end industry speculation that the alliance was about to introduce new partners including British Midland. That speculation heightened last month when British Midland, which already has ties with many of the carriers in the alliance, announced code shares with Lufthansa on some German routes.

The Star Alliance has been devised as a tool for customer focus and is designed to make passengers aware of the services and standards which are available across the alliance.

The Star branding, with its emphasis on the needs of the customer, is in stark contrast to the proposed alliance between British Airways and American Airlines which has been characterised as the creation of a giant.

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