All Nippon Airways joins Star Alliance

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TOKYO -- Japan's No. 2 airline All Nippon Airways announced October 23 it will join the United Airlines-led airline grouping called the Star Alliance in October 1999.

The code-sharing arrangement is expected to help boost international flight sales for ANA by about $68 million to $85 million a year. It is also expected to make ANA more competitive in the international arena, an airline spokesman said.

The Star Alliance was launched last year and includes United Airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa German Airlines, SAS-Scandinavian Airlines System, Thai Airways and Varig Brazilian Airlines. Two other airlines are expected to join the alliance before 1999.

Under the alliance, ANA plans joint frequent flier programs with its partners and it will also share airport lounges with the other group firms.

The decision to join may also mean ANA will have to sever ties with non-alliance partners such as Delta Air Lines, the spokesman said.

ANA rival Japan Airlines earlier this year formed an alliance with American Airlines.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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