You are currently viewing Date set: SAS to exit Star Alliance for SkyTeam at end of August

Date set: SAS to exit Star Alliance for SkyTeam at end of August

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Scandinavian Airlines has firmed up the timeline for its departure from the Star Alliance.

SAS will leave the global airline alliance effective Aug. 31, the Stockholm-based carrier said Monday.

The announcement came just over six months after the company reached a deal to link up with Air France-KLM, with the latter company providing the requisite financing to rescue the beleaguered SAS from tough financial straits.

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As part of the deal — which is still pending regulatory approval — it was clear SAS would eventually migrate to the SkyTeam alliance, of which both Air France and KLM are members.

That shift will begin Sept. 1, although it’s possible full reciprocal benefits between the SAS EuroBonus members and other SkyTeam frequent flyers may not be in place on that date.

SAS’ shift to SkyTeam

In a statement Monday, SAS said its EuroBonus members can begin reaping certain loyalty benefits with most SkyTeam partners effective Sept. 1.

Those reciprocal benefits, the airline said, will be similar to those its members (and those of other airlines) share as part of its current participation in the Star Alliance.

SAS said its leaders remain in “advanced negotiations” with SkyTeam and many of its member airlines to develop and grow their relationships, with more information expected in the coming months.


With 19 member airlines worldwide, the SkyTeam includes Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico in North America and a host of European carriers from Air France and KLM to ITA Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

SAS’ loyalty program will remain EuroBonus, the company said Monday — dispelling any notion (at least, as of now) that the carrier might join the Flying Blue program shared today by Air France and KLM; pending approval, those airlines’ parent company would hold a 19.99% noncontrolling stake in SAS.

“We are thrilled to progress on our alliance transition journey and pave the way for delightful new destinations and loyalty program benefits across the world,” SAS chief commercial officer Paul Verhagen said in a statement. “Our focus now is to guide customers and our EuroBonus members on each step during this transition.”

Leaving the Star Alliance

For SAS, departing the Star Alliance means leaving the alliance it helped found more than a quarter century ago.


With less than five months until the airline’s transition, an alliance spokesperson said Monday its member airlines have been working to ensure the shift is seamless, “particularly with respect to previously booked flights.”

If you’re hoping to take advantage of reciprocal Star Alliance benefits for an already-booked flight, check with your particular airline loyalty program for specific questions related to mileage accrual and redemption, alliance officials said.

“We thank SAS and its employees for contributing to the superior customer experience for which Star Alliance is globally renowned,” the alliance said in a statement.

Bottom line

SAS will wind down its Star Alliance participation on Aug. 31 and shift to SkyTeam as of Sept. 1.

Some specific details about reciprocal benefits at both ends of the transition remain a bit hazy, with the airline promising more information in the months to come.

However, what’s clear is that if you’re a loyal Delta SkyMiles member, SAS may become a more useful European carrier for you in the coming months; the opposite may be true if you’re loyal to the United MileagePlus program.

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