By Tolga Ozbek in Istanbul

Turkish Airlines (THY) has chosen the Lufthansa/United Airlines-led Star Alliance grouping as its intended global partner after the airline’s board met today to finalise its future alliance strategy.

The carrier has for some time been considering whether to join an alliance and, if so, to which of the major groups to commit.

General manager Temel Kotil says: “THY has decided to join Star Alliance. We will start the main negotiations in a few days.”

The carrier, formerly linked with the ill-fated Swissair-led Qualiflyer alliance, began initial talks with Star and rival SkyTeam last year. The decision follows nine months of meetings and the assessment of reports by the THY board.

Formal discussions on joining Star are planned to last about a year. Kotil says: “We believe that entering Star Alliance will increase our competitiveness in the region.”

Source: Flight International