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Star Alliance is expanding — sort of. Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines will join the alliance as a connecting partner in 2017. This means that Juneyao will be able to partner with Star Alliance carriers without having to become a full member. For passengers, this means more seamless connections into China from Juneayao’s bases at both Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) and Pudong (PVG) airports. Further, connecting partner status means that passengers will be able to utilize check-in counters, lounges and other alliance benefits.

It’d be great to see deeper integration of Juneyao into the alliance in the future — for now it’s unclear whether you’ll be able to redeem United or Aeroplan miles for domestic Chinese flights operated by Juneyao, according to a press release from Star Alliance:

Connecting Partners will enter into bilateral commercial agreements with selected Star Alliance member airlines, which may include Frequent Flyer Programme based privileges.

Star Alliance is the world’s largest airline alliance, with 28 member airlines connecting passengers to destinations in every corner of the globe. Member airlines include Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.

Photo courtesy of LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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