Star formally invited Greek carrier Aegean to join the alliance as a full member today. The airline is expected to finally join the largest alliance in mid 2010. Aegean will bring nine new destinations to the alliance network plus a sizeable domestic network that Star Alliance so far has not had access to. Its principle competitor, Olympic, is not yet aligned with any of the other groups. Star officials point out that Lufthansa's proposal to add Aegean was quickly adopted. Turkish Airlines, geographically the nearest member, did not object to the plans either. Lufthansa was the sponsor of both Adria’s and Croatia Airlines’ membership in Star.
The airlines expected to join the alliance this year are Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM Airlines. Next year, besides Aegean, Air India will also join the alliance. Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines become regional Star Alliance members in 2004. Their fate in the alliance will officially be announced next month.