HomeFeaturesTogether, Better Connected with Star Alliance at their Christmas Lunch

Together, Better Connected with Star Alliance at their Christmas Lunch

ITTN’s Shane Cullen attended the Star Alliance Christmas lunch in the plush surroundings of the Shelbourne Hotel. Martina Coogan thanked Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport as sponsors of the Star Alliance lunch. She raised a glass “to friends present and gone” and wished everyone a very merry Christmas.

Star Alliance

Julie Murphy (Chair, Country Steering Committee, Star Alliance UK) spoke about Star Alliance’s focus & plans going forward. In 1997, Star Alliance was established on a customer proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless service. This continues today where the global aviation alliance further leverages technology to foster a harmonious experience for Star Alliance customers.

Looking to the future, Star Alliance aims to be more digitally advanced as an alliance, enhancing that seamless travel experience with a unique loyalty composition.

Julie shared “In the year ahead, we plan to see more developments in that seamless connectivity such as new digital and mobile innovations… that will be a great benefit to our loyal customers from our member carriers.”

Together, Better Connected with Star Alliance

“Together, Better Connected with Star Alliance”, is the new tagline and Julie explains it is intended to capture the fostering of better human connections through the global network coupled with digital connectivity.

New Developments with Star Alliance

Star Alliance by Metrics was introduced in 2020 and is now available in Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Hamburg. It will continue to be rolled out through some of the key hubs.

Star Alliance lounges are in Amsterdam, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and a newly opened lounge in Charles de Gaulle. This is in addition to the whole building lounge in Los Angeles.

This year Star Alliance retained the prestigious SkyTrax accolade of Best Airline Alliance and at the WTAs, Star Alliance won the World’s Leading Airline Alliance.

Dublin Airport

Eoin McLoughlin (VP of Aviation Business Development, Dublin Airport) thanked those who worked behind the scenes to deliver the event. New to the role, Eoin shared that he has worked at Dublin Airport and before that, he was with Aer Lingus for ten years.

Eoin shared, “I just want to thank all of our travel agents and guests here for coming today and for being with us and thanks very much for your support and your business through Dublin Airport.”

He expanded, that Dublin Airport had a really strong year with the 10 Star Alliance partner airlines set to deliver over 2 million passengers in 2023, equating to c. 7% of Dublin Airport passenger traffic. Compared to 2022, this represents an increase of 22% or 200,000 more passengers. Concerning 2019 levels, this is 6% above pre-covid figures.

Eoin explained virtually all the Star Alliance carriers are at the same if not higher frequencies compared with pre-covid levels using examples of both Turkish Airlines carrying c. 100,000 more passengers and United having 50,000 more seats than in 2019. This illustrates the underlying demand for travel in Ireland for Dublin (and other) airports across the country.

Eoin detailed that, 97% of passengers went through security at Dublin Airport in under 20 minutes. The airport is rolling out its new security machines which, similar to Shannon Airport, negate the need to take items out of hand luggage (like liquids, tablets, laptops etc.). The new machines will be fully implemented at T2 next year and are being rolled out at T1 too.

Early 2023 saw new CEO, Kenny Jacobs, join the daa with a new enthusiasm to implement several features to deliver a strong year for the company. Q1 2023 saw a recruitment programme, improvements to the passenger experience, and new food and beverage outlets – all of which benefitted passengers throughout the year. This forms part of the new CEO’s “Better Dublin” plan which will see further enhancements next year.

Dublin Airport also saw a new MD of Dublin Airport, Gary McLean, who has been with the daa since 1996. His new role sees him responsible for the delivery of the day-to-day operations at Dublin Airport.

Eoin updated the audience about the new infrastructure application being submitted this week in terms of allowing Dublin Airport to grow to the next stage of its capabilities in Dublin in terms of stands and piers, and also in terms of delivering the airport’s sustainability objectives.

Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport delivered 14% growth year to date in terms of passenger numbers. The airport has also rolled out all of the new security x-ray systems which allows you to go through security with ease.

Star Alliance

Martina Coogan provided a whistlestop tour of the Star Alliance highlights starting with Air Canada.

Air Canada

Air Canada is represented by Bláithín O’Donnell, Sales Manager Ireland and offers:

  • Year-round service from Dublin to Toronto. This operates four times a week during the winter and from March 2024 capacity will increase to 6 flights a week right through the summer months till the end of October.
  • Summer seasonal services from Dublin to Vancouver and Montreal. Vancouver will be back from mid-June with 4 flights a week. The Montreal route will start at the beginning of June with 3 flights a week. Both these flights will operate until the end of September.

Air Canada is delighted to have won the world’s most family-friendly airline category which, as Martina Coogan shared, “[gives] everyone an extra layer of confidence that Air Canada passengers flying from Ireland with children are well-accommodated for”

Aegean Airlines

Aegean Airlines provides 3 weekly flights from Dublin to Athens. From Athens, Aegean Airlines customers can connect seamlessly to over 30 domestic destinations in Greece with Aegean and Olympic Air.

ANA Airlines

All Nippon Airways (Ana) is represented by Alan Sparling (ASM Ireland) in Ireland and Julie Murphy (Country Sales Manager, UK & Ireland, All Nippon Airways). The end of 2023 saw Japan as one of the last countries to open its border to tourists. Ana European flights are currently operating at 60% of pre-covid levels but are continuing to increase clients as we look towards 2024.

Martina added, ANA is keeping a very sharp focus on the sustainability targets with a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines is represented by Alan Sparling (ASM Ireland). Ethiopian Airlines has been applying for slots to resume services from Dublin to Addis. They continue to work with the various parties to make this happen.


Egyptair offers the only direct flight from Dublin to Cario. This summer, the airline added its fifth frequency from Dublin to Cairo with 5 flights a week. In November, the airline signed a contract for 18 new Boeing 787 Max aircraft and 10 new Airbus 8350s. The airline has 80 aircraft and flies to almost 100 destinations.

Tap Air Portugal

Tap Air Portugal has already carried more passengers with Brazilian roots this year than all of 2022. As of October 31st, this was more than 1.6 million (an increase of 23% compared to last year). In another historic milestone for the airline, Martina explained that TAP Air Portugal generated a record net profit of EUR 203.5m.

Turkish Airlines

Martina shared that Turkish Airlines was named Europe’s Best Airline for the 8th time in a row. The airline also won the World’s Best Best Business Class Catering and World’s Best Economy Class Catering, Southern Europe’s Best Airline and Europe’s Best Economy Seat Service Awards in 2023.

Turkish Airlines flies to 3,245 destinations and has 14 direct flights a week from Dublin to Istanbul.

United Airlines

United Airlines has proudly served Dublin and Shannon for 25 years. The schedule offered by United Airlines from Ireland:

  • Year-round Dublin to Newark with double daily service from April to October 2024 and daily during the winter months
  • Dublin to Washington year-round service
  • Dublin to Chicago service which relaunches next April
  • The Shannon to Newark route returns next April
  • The Shannon to Chicago service returns in May

Martina detailed that the airline has delivered 12.5% year-on-year revenue growth in the third quarter. Revenue in the Atlantic was up 15% in the same quarter in 2022 and 70% in the same period in 2019.

For More on United and Air Canada

For more on United and Air Canada, check out the highlights from the United and Air Canada presentations at the recent Worldchoice Conference.

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.

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