Star Alliance says it won't chase Virgin Australia to join up

Star Alliance says it won't chase Virgin Australia to join up

Star Alliance says it has little interest in signing up Virgin Australia as a member, despite its description of Australia as a "white spot" lacking a domestic Star airline.

Speaking at a Star Alliance press conference in Frankfurt, Germany to mark the group's 20th anniversary, Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh cited Australia as one of several such "white spots" around the world.

"Australia is (domestically) served by Qantas and Virgin Australia, but like many white spots it is also served by many Star Alliance member airlines... we're not going to add members for the sake of adding, (an airline) has to have additional value to the Star Alliance proposition."

"There are not many airlines who are interested in joining Star Alliance who we are interested in having” added Star Alliance chairman Pedro Heilbron.

However, Goh allowed that in some burgeoning markets "we are constantly on the lookout."

"India and Brazil are big and fast growing markets (where) we are constantly assessing to see whether one or two or even a third member will meet our purposes."

David Flynn is visiting Frankfurt as a guest of Star Alliance.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • UpUpAndAway


    18 May, 2017 07:46 am

    If Virgin bonded better with it's partners it wouldn't need to be in Star Alliance but let me tell you when your at Paris Airport, your wife is on airside of customs and the Singapore Airlines staff are giving you crap at the check in counter Qantas looks good. Then to come back to Australia and Singapore Airlines agrees the customer was right but doesn't really seem to care Qantas International flights look a better option.
    Member who gave thanks


  • Chris_PER


    18 May, 2017 12:41 pm

    Could have happened to anyone by any airline.
    No member give thanks

  • AJW


    18 May, 2017 02:41 pm

    And? That makes it ok?
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35


    18 May, 2017 08:11 am

    I think VA has clearly stated in the past that it is not interested in Star so I don't know why this is continually brought up.  VA has a good relationship with DL and probably has no interest in inflicting UA on its customers.  SQ is the only equity partner in Star and it appears OK that VA has remained outside.

    In many respects, alliances are a bit last decade anyway.  Many of the things originally promised have never happened (joint FF schemes, joint aircraft orders, consistent hard and soft products.) Even the member airlines devalue the alliance further by offering different status benefits when you fly on different airlines within the same alliance.

    Finally, I think VA should stay out of Star because its F/A uniform is too nice.  There are some shockers in that photo!!!!
    Member who gave thanks


  • Alex


    18 May, 2017 10:02 am

    Star is a little more rigid in their rules for their members. For QF, oneworld works well because there is the streamlined benefits when travelling on OW and then they have same or similar benefits when flying with their partners. 

    If you ever had issues accessing a lounge because until recently, VA Gold and Plat cards didn't actually have Virgin Australia on them, you'd know how much of a difference an Alliance logo would make.

    Also from a business point of view, having Star pax (particularly J) would be of a big boost to VA's bottom line
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35


    18 May, 2017 10:56 am

    Unfortunately the benefits on Oneworld are not consistent.  A QFF member flying BA, CX or MH will earn a lot less in points and status credits compared with QF. 
    No member give thanks

  • Alex


    18 May, 2017 01:03 pm

    The benefit of an alliance is that you earn points and status credit on partner airlines. The fact that it is not consistent in terms of points and status credits is an individual airline issue that has existed since the creation of allainces. 

    They are not the main benefits of alliance status. I am talking about Priority baggage and allowance, priority screening and boarding, lounge access etc.
    No member give thanks

  • highflyer


    18 May, 2017 06:22 pm

    I think OneWorld are more consistent than what Star alliance are able to offer 
    No member give thanks

  • downdata


    18 May, 2017 11:55 am

    Doesn't matter if they join an alliance or not, they need to become a profitable business in the first place. They have not had a profitable year since 2012.
    No member give thanks

  • wozcor1


    18 May, 2017 08:45 am

    Where is the 'Singapore Girl' in the group photo ?
    No member give thanks

  • johnaboxall


    18 May, 2017 09:47 am

    Someone had to take the photo...
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn


    18 May, 2017 10:06 am

    She's the one standing just ahead of the engine - she's German SQ ground crew wearing ground crew kit, which partners a batik scarf with a dark blue dress with subtle batik stitching - I had to look twice to find her, and that was in the flesh at the Frankfurt event.

    No member give thanks

  • roby


    18 May, 2017 09:57 am

    On Air China's right is SQ ground staff.
    No member give thanks

  • maabbot


    18 May, 2017 11:34 am

    Gotta love gender diversity in the airline business...
    No member give thanks

  • GregXL


    18 May, 2017 02:16 pm

    Yep, that's why there is a female pilot...
    No member give thanks

  • roby


    18 May, 2017 11:45 am

    Maybe not as a full member but perhaps the Connecting Partner Model makes more sense for the time being? 
    No member give thanks

  • eminere


    18 May, 2017 01:33 pm

    Haha I think this makes it pretty clear that *A is simply not interested or doesn't see the value in VA
    No member give thanks

  • fresh  thoughts


    18 May, 2017 03:04 pm

    virgin doesn't realise how much more attractive they could be in an alliance. for starters there would be no more wondering which lounge you can use or if you can even use one at all instead of not backtracking to the domestic terminal in melbourne.
    No member give thanks

  • tonywills


    18 May, 2017 06:27 pm

    Why is there only one male in this photo??? This is rampant sexism! I'm complaining to Gillian Triggs......

    Member who gave thanks

    Drew Lambert

  • Andrew


    18 May, 2017 08:54 pm

    Well, I will say - I would be happy to fly on any of Virgin's current partners. There are members in each of One World, Star, and Skyteam that I would avoid. So in that metric at least, Virgin has done a better job at choosing its partners.
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Glover


    18 May, 2017 08:57 pm

    If they join, will I get my Life Golden Wing membership reinstated? Well I suppose I should get over it LOL
    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway


    19 May, 2017 07:53 am

    The way Virgin is going you might lose points a second time
    No member give thanks

  • Dredgy


    18 May, 2017 10:17 pm

    Hate alliances, the areas where they should help tend, they don't (seamless interlining with other alliance carriers). I want to fly Delhi-Frankfurt-Lisbon-Porto Alegre - to book it with Lufthansa is cheap, but involves doubling back to Frankfurt from Lisbon, then going onwards to Sao Paulo or Rio and making my way from there. Whereas flying star alliance - Delhi-Frankfurt-Lisbon on Lufthansa and Lisbon-Porto Alegre on TAP is 3 times the cost, only marginally more convenient and has a worse hard product and earning rate on miles isn't as good iirc. That's an opportunity to provide a seamless experience. 

     But I would live with Virgin being a member of Star since I have a  bunch of Lufthansa Miles to burn and few options out of Australia. 
    No member give thanks

  • timster


    19 May, 2017 03:27 pm

    Love alliances. Oneworld was the reason I stuck with QF, BA, AA for so long. But those were the good old days. Star works much better for me now. SQ, TG, UA, BR have all been decent for me recently. Choose the best airline for the route. The only thing missing is a domestic *A partner. Until then I have no reason to fly VA.
    "There are not many airlines who are interested in joining Star Alliance who we are interested in having”
    Since his other words don't actually say Star wouldn't take VA, I'm still left thinking that VA is not that interested and for that I wonder why.
    No member give thanks

  • abudhabi1


    20 May, 2017 01:57 pm

    the lack of a domestic partner is what stops a lot of us from flying them.I have memberships in both Velocity and Thai Royal Orchid Plus that are of use on SQ but for say any LH,UA,TG FLYING My Velocity is useless there and as such have to put up with lower mileage in my other membership.
    No member give thanks


23 Jun, 2018 08:44 am

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