German train operator Deutsche Welle is set to become the first non-airline partner of the Star Alliance Group of Carriers.
As part of a planned move to expand sustainable travel options, the rail company will become the alliance’s first “intermodal” partner from 1 August.
The new system will see both DB subscribers and Star Alliance member airline passengers, including Lufthansa, combining international flights with train travel to Germany.
The Alliance said the initiative would “intelligently combine air, rail and other modes of transport” and that it planned to build more intermodal partnerships with other land transport providers around the world.
Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance, said it was “opening the door to Star Alliance out of the airline world” through DB’s membership.
“Our new model for intermodal partnerships creates the conditions for integrated collaboration between different modes of transport across all Star Alliance markets,” Goh added.
“We are delighted to welcome Deutsche Welle as our first Star Alliance Intermodal partner.”
DB is already working on intermodal partnerships with individual airlines, such as the Lufthansa Express rail service, which expanded to more German cities last year, and bookings have doubled since 2010.
Michael Peterson, DB’s board member for long-distance passenger transport, said: “From Freiburg to Singapore, you only need one ticket. With attractive domestic-German connections and simultaneous links to international travel chains, Deutsche Welle and the Star Alliance have made significant contributions to reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector. ”
“In this way, we get more people off the plane and get on the eco-friendly train. In close collaboration with the airlines, we are now tackling dynamic changes. We can network our offers in such a way that we make the best use of the corresponding strengths of our modes of transport. “