Star Alliance will welcome Germany’s national train company, Deutsche Bahn, as their newest member, following their plans to become an “intermodal Alliance.”
Deutsche Bahn Announced as Newest Member
Last month, we reported that Star Alliance was going to expand its horizons beyond planes and become an “intermodal alliance”. That is a partnership that covers different modes of transport. However, alliance boss Jeffrey Goh was secretive about who the new member would be.
This morning, it was revealed that Deutsch Bahn (DB) would be the latest addition to the group. An invitation distributed today said that Star and DB would present their new intermodal partnership at an event in Frankfurt on Monday. Deutsche Bahn will be joining the alliance’s 26 airline members and two “connecting partners”: Juneyao Airlines and Thai Smile.
This latest step comes shortly after the 25th anniversary of the alliance’s formation. When the group was formed in 1997, it had just five members: Lufthansa, United Airlines, Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, and Thai Airways. The airline members collaborate on codeshares, flight lounges, IT solutions, and more.
Who is Deutsche Bahn?
Deutsche Bahn is the national railway company of Germany and describes itself as the second-largest transport company in the world, after DHL. They are the largest railway operator in Europe, and in 2015, were the largest train company in the world by revenue.
Deutsche Bahn already works closely with Star Alliance Member Lufthansa. Lufthansa has a scheme called “Rail&Fly” (German: Zug zum Flug), offering joint airline and train tickets, which gives passengers access to DB’s network of over 5,600 stations. This could be a scheme which extends to the rest of the 26 Star Alliance Members.
Now that the rail companies are on the table; it will be interesting to see if more are added. Star Alliance member SWISS has a similar partnership with the Swiss Federal Railways, offering a train connection between Munich Central and Zurich Airport.
What are your thoughts on DB joining the Star Alliance? Who do you think could be next?