The 26 members that make up the Star Alliance group celebrated their annual Christmas lunch at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Irish airline managers, with Martina Coogan of United Airlines in the chair, including Lynda Betsch, Aegean; Blaithin O’Donnell, Air Canada; Irma McHardy, Croatia ; Meseret Tekalign, Ethiopian; Alan Sparling, SAS; Ricardo Dinis, TAP Air Portugal; and Hasan Mutlu, Turkish Airlines; were all on hand to welcome guests and update plans for 2020. Also in attendance was Jane Reeves over from the UK, reports Ian Bloomfield.
Martina Coogan told the gathering that Star Alliance has been in existence for the past 22 years and is the largest alliance of global airlines. Martina also gave an update for all the airlines, with positive results continuing to emanate from all.
Sponsors for the event were Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport. Edel Redmond reported that Star Alliance contributed 2.9 million passengers to the ever growing capacity of Dublin Airport and, with T2 now running for nine years, looked forward to further developments in the coming years. In 2020 Dublin Airport will be 80 years old and 2025 will have a target of 40 million passengers.
Declan Power, who has been with Shannon Airport for 40 years, stressed that Shannon had the longest runway in Ireland and could therefore handle many of the bigger aircraft that were now coming on to the market. He encouraged all the Star Alliance airlines to bring their services to the West of Ireland.
Philip Airey from Sunway was the winner of a prize draw for an Apple watch.