STAR ALLIANCE BREAKS GROUND ON NEW AIRPORT CONCOURSE IN MIAMI
Miami, January 15, 2002 – Star Alliance, the world’s leading airline alliance, today broke ground on a dedicated Star Alliance concourse at Miami International Airport. The Star Alliance concourse, the first of its kind in North America and one of a number of airport projects that will take place across the Star Alliance network, is scheduled to open in 2005.
The Star Alliance concourse will provide a smoother and easier travel experience for travelers arriving, departing or transferring in Miami on any Star Alliance carrier. The new concourse will consolidate facilities, including check-in, baggage and gate areas, and will minimize distances and connecting times needed between carriers. The Star Alliance carriers currently operating from Miami include Air Canada, Lufthansa, Mexicana, United and Varig Brazilian Airlines.
"It’s fitting that Miami was chosen as the site for the first dedicated Star Alliance concourse in North America," stated Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO. "Not only does it underscore Miami’s role as a premier aviation hub throughout the Americas, but it also demonstrates Star’s commitment to – and importance in – this market. Taken together, the Star Alliance carriers are a force to be reckoned with in Miami."
Together, the five Star Alliance carriers serving Miami offer 191 weekly flights to 19 destinations on three continents. These include eight U.S. and 11 international destinations. Star Alliance carriers handled nearly three million passengers at Miami International Airport in 2001.
At 318,800 square feet and with 15 gates and a seating capacity of 1,650 passengers, the new Star Alliance concourse is poised to accommodate a substantially larger traffic flow when completed in 2005. The new concourse will also include an 18,855 square feet United Red Carpet Club. The lounge, accessible to all Star Alliance Gold members traveling through Miami, will be United’s second-largest Red Carpet Club in North America.
The Star Alliance concourse is part of a larger South Terminal construction program at Miami International Airport that will include a consolidated baggage facility for all Star Alliance carriers, and enhanced customs and immigration screening facilities for international passengers that will handle up to 2,000 passengers per hour during peak times. Overall construction costs on the South Terminal program are estimated at $658.7 million. The Star Alliance concourse, also known as "J" concourse, alone accounts for $100 million of the total costs.
"We are very pleased to see the Star Alliance carriers come together under one roof in the new South Terminal," said Angela Gittens, Miami Dade Aviation Department director. "We appreciate the long relationship that the airport has shared with the Star Alliance carriers collectively, and we are glad to see them as an important part of the airport’s future as well."
The Star Alliance concourse in Miami is one of a number of planned consolidations that will take place under Star Alliance’s new "Move Under One Roof" initiative. Operating under one roof at all major airports within its extensive route network is a primary goal of Star Alliance, since smooth connections and coordinated service are critical to today’s global travelers. Other consolidations under consideration include facilities at Paris – Charles de Gaulle, Brussels, and Tokyo – Narita airports.
Great news for Star Alliance!