SAS To Join SkyTeam On September 1

Daniel Fowkes
09 Apr 2024
· Airlines 
SAS says it'll leave Star Alliance on August 31 and join SkyTeam to align with Air France-KLM, which has an almost 20% stake in the carrier.

SAS has formally announced its departure from Star Alliance, of which it was a founding member. The departure will occur on August 31, 2024, as part of a significant shift in the business.

A departure will see SAS join the likes of Air France and KLM, who will, in the future, play a significant role in the company’s fortunes.

As a founding member of Star Alliance, which dates back to 1997, SAS has been responsible for fostering relationships with several high-profile airlines over the years while boosting its position within the industry.

Air France-KLM Relationship With SAS

However, SAS has been under a restructuring for a significant period as it struggled to navigate the more turbulent times the industry offered it. But, when Air France-KLM, among other consortiums, were determined as the future for SAS, changes needed to be made to align with the major airline groups model.

Air France-KLM announced it would take on 19.9% of SAS as part of the ongoing Chapter 11 restructuring that stemmed from financial problems. With only a 19.9% stake at this stage, the Air France-KLM Group has made its intentions clear that it would like to grow its stake in SAS moving into the future and take further control.

Air France-KLM wants to take a larger stake in SAS with time – Photo: Aero Icarus

As part of the adjustments from the stake, it was announced that SAS would depart Star Alliance for SkyTeam, with Air France-KLM taking SAS under its wing and finally using the company’s geographical positioning to access the northern part of Europe.

SkyTeam Benefits Coming

From September 1, SAS says that EuroBonus members will be able to enjoy the loyalty benefits they previously experienced with Star Alliance with SkyTeam and their respective airlines. Extra baggage and priority check-in, among other benefits, will be made possible with SkyTeam carriers.

However, the specifics of which airlines will offer considerable benefits to SAS customers haven’t been revealed at this stage. These details will be shared closer to the official departure from Star Alliance.

Star Alliance Responds

Star Alliance responded to SAS’s formally announced departure, saying that since 1997, it has maintained a presence in the northern part of Europe and would like to thank SAS and its employees for their trust and assistance throughout the decades.

The priority of Star Alliance is to ensure that the exit of SAS is as seamless as possible, with an emphasis on those who have already booked flights.

Looking ahead, Star Alliance says it’s excited to continue offering direct flights, with 17 members still offering direct connections to Scandinavia even if it loses the main carrier that calls this country home.

However, 25 airline members will be present in total from September 1, and the alliance highlights that each airline remains committed to offering the best possible journey, with enhanced connectivity at the forefront of the perks.

Star Alliance says it provides 17,000 daily departures with service to more than 1,100 airports across 187 countries. It is, therefore, the world’s largest global alliance, and it’s a title that isn’t taken lightly.

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