Playing host to Star Alliance

Representatives from more than 24 of the world's largest international airlines will meet in Queenstown this December after Air New Zealand successfully made a bid to host the Star Alliance chief executive board meeting in New Zealand.

The annual Star Alliance conference will be held in the resort from December 12 to 14, combining both chief executive and alliance management board meetings.

The two board meetings would cover Star Alliance key business decisions for the year ahead, including voting on membership development, financial expenditure, product development and marketing programmes.

About 80 delegates representing the 29 airline members and Star Alliance were expected to attend, as well as more than 30 representatives from international media to cover the event.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Rob Fyfe said it was the first time New Zealand had hosted the "significant event".

He felt that was a reflection on the strength of the airline's influence in the alliance that members agreed to come to New Zealand.

The conference will be held at Millbrook Resort, with several other events and activities to be hosted throughout the Queenstown region.

Up to 200 guests were expected to attend a gala dinner on the Monday evening.

The 29 airlines of the Star Alliance combined employ more than 400,000 staff, operate 4000 aircraft and carry 623 million passengers each year.

The member airlines' combined turnover of $US153 billion a year represents about 30% of the global aviation industry's turnover - a figure nearly eight times New Zealand's GDP.

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 with current member airlines Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways.

Aegean Airlines and Air India have been announced as future members.


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