Scandinavian carrier SAS is to leave Star Alliance for SkyTeam at the end of August, following the recapitalisation by a consortium which includes SkyTeam partner Air France-KLM.

SAS states that passengers will be able to obtain benefits with “most” SkyTeam airlines from 1 September.

The Scandinavian operator was a founding member of Star Alliance in 1997 but the airline’s restructuring under US Chapter 11 has resulted in the change of allegiance.

Air France-KLM is part of a consortium providing new equity to SAS and it will hold a minority share in the carrier.

SAS engine

Source: SAS

SAS is joining SkyTeam after Air France-KLM’s participation in its restructuring

SAS says it is in “advanced negotiations” with SkyTeam and a number of its carriers to develop “extensive” commercial relationships.

“We are thrilled to progress on our alliance transition journey and pave the way for delightful new destinations and loyalty programme benefits across the world,” says SAS chief commercial officer Paul Verhagen.

SAS says members of its EuroBonus loyalty scheme – which will remain in place after its Star exit – will have SkyTeam benefits “similar” to those offered with Star carriers.

The airline says it intends to give customers access to 19 new airlines and over 1,000 destinations.

SAS Star livery-c-Eduard Heisterkamp Creative Commons

Source: Eduard Heisterkamp/Creative Commons

SAS was a founder member of Star and some of its aircraft featured the alliance’s livery

Star Alliance says it has held a “significant presence” in northern Europe and Scandinavia, and that 17 of its member carriers will continue to offer services to the region.

It says it intends the SAS exit to be “seamless”, particularly regarding previously-booked flights.

Star Alliance will still have 25 member airlines and will still offer over 3,700 flights per month to Scandinavian destinations after SAS’s departure.

“In the future, Star Alliance member airlines may bring additional service to Scandinavia,” it adds.