The Star Alliance, having a few days ago given the go-ahead for new technology investment and wide-ranging enhancements to operational processes, has now announced a management change, with Jeffrey Goh becoming chief executive.
The appointment takes effect on 1 January 2017, when Goh, 47, will succeed Mark Schwab, who will retire at the end of this year.
Goh will head Star Alliances Services GmbH, the Germany-based brand and project management company which coordinates the Star’s activities.
“This early decision lays the groundwork for a smooth leadership transition at the top of the Alliance’s management company”, Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu, who chairs the Alliance’s Chief Executive Board, explained.
“Mark Schwab led the Alliance through an important period. After more than a decade of adding new member airlines in significant and strategic markets around the globe, the focus of the Alliance has shifted to a closer integration of customer-facing services, systems and processes.”
Goh is currently Star Alliance’s chief operating officer and general counsel. He joined Star Alliance in 2007 from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and before that taught and practised law. He holds a doctorate in the principles and policies of regulating airline competition and regulation.
Just days ago, the chief executives of the Star Alliance airlines gave the green light to new technology investment and wide-ranging enhancements to operational processes to meet the evolving demands of today’s travellers.
Star Alliance will invest in multi-million dollar technology projects, which will include a new Alliance IT hub for baggage. This new IT hub is scheduled to go into operation by the end of 2016 and is the latest in a series of similar “plug and play” applications which are supporting the member airlines behind the scenes. The existing IT hubs have already successfully improved the exchange of frequent flyer data and through check-in of passengers and baggage, as well as the provision of enhanced services to premium customers.
Baggage processes are currently complicated by the fact that the relevant information resides in many different systems. In addition to those operating at the individual Star Alliance member airlines, each airport is running its own baggage system, thus making it highly complex to retrieve the current status of bags, to locate bags within the systems and to take effective remedial action if bags are mishandled.
“While mishandling a bag is a relatively rare case in our Alliance, despite the fact that we carry almost 1.7 million passengers every day, when things do go wrong it is highly annoying to any customer affected,” Schwab said.
“We believe modern technology can be of tremendous assistance in significantly reducing the number of baggage issues and providing faster and more accurate information for our customer service agents. As ever, our ultimate goal is to provide the best possible service to our travellers.”
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 and now offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.
Member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Avianca Brazil, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United.
Edited by Peter Needham