The 26-member Star Alliance airline group is planning to add its first non-airline member, CEO Jeffrey Goh said on May 12.
Goh did not want to get ahead of a formal announcement expected in the next several weeks, but he said the partner would be in Europe and would most likely be a railroad. “I will take your money if you wanted to bet on the railways,” he told reporters.
It remains unclear if passengers would be able to redeem travel or earn points on the non-airline partner.
Separately, Goh said Star is launching an alliance-wide, co-branded credit card, an industry first. The card would allow members to earn points to redeem on the Star Alliance frequent-flier program of their choice, he said. The card will launch in an unspecified market in the third quarter of this year. If it is successful, the alliance will expand it to other markets, Goh said.