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Qualiflyer was a frequent-flyer program and, to some extent, an airline alliance created in April 1992 by Austrian Airlines, Crossair and Swissair. When Swissair began acquiring stakes in other European airlines in 1998, Qualiflyer was extended to become their frequent flyer programs as well. This spawned the alliance known as The Qualiflyer Group. With the failure of Swissair in 2002, the group dissolved along with the program and a company was formed to give each former member airline an individual frequent-flyer program.


The Qualiflyer logo.
Basic account card. Other levels have similar but different coloured cards.

Qualiflyer was formed in April 1992, as Europe's first frequent-flyer program, for Swissair, Crossair and Austrian Airlines.[1] Originally, Swissair's partner airline Crossair and its high-end hotel chain Swissôtel also participated in the program. Qualiflyer's affiliation to one of the world-class airlines caused membership to grow quickly to 2 million members in the first eight years. After that, other airlines joined in the program, and the program received even larger amounts of membership.

In 1998, Swissair, one of the more conservative European airlines, decided to have a hand at expansion. Instead of doing this by joining one of the new airlines alliances Star Alliance and oneworld and SkyTeam, it decided to acquire minority stakes in several airlines. Among these were Sabena, TAP Air Portugal, Air Europe, and LOT Polish Airlines. These airlines all came to participate in the Qualiflyer program. The Qualiflyer Group would ultimately be a contributing factor in Swissair's demise.

Currently Swiss International Air Lines, the successor company of Swissair, is participating in the Miles & More frequent flyer program with Lufthansa.

Logo and livery[edit]

The Qualiflyer Group logo resembled a blue globe surrounded by two swooping arms. The entire globe was encircled by ten stars symbolizing the ten member airlines. Airlines participating in the group were required to fly airplanes with a rather large Qualiflyer logo sticker applied. Swissair and Sabena principally had several airplanes painted with a blue underbelly with "The Qualiflyer Group" titles applied near the nose.

Club levels[edit]

The Qualiflyer program always made a distinction between genuine frequent flyers and other traveling members. That is why, when Qualiflyer launched in 1992, two account types were introduced: the Qualiflyer basic level, for everyone wishing to collect miles, and the Qualiflyer Travelclub, for more frequent travelers. To meet the needs of particular target groups better, further club levels were added. The Travelclub Gold, for very frequent travelers and Qualiflyer Circle for an exclusive group of selected members. The existence of the "Circle" was not actively communicated, to ensure optimum exclusivity. The Circle was introduced in 1994 and the Travelclub Gold membership only many years later in 2001. For every level, further benefits were offered.

Member airlines[edit]

The following airlines were at one point members of The Qualiflyer Group or partners of just the frequent flyer program:[2]

Airline Notes
Italy Air Europe
France Air Liberté
France Air Littoral
France AOM French Airlines
Austria Austrian Airlines Founding member of the Qualiflyer frequent-flyer program.
Joined the Miles & More frequent-flyer program and became a Star Alliance member since 26 March 2000. Became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa since 3 September 2009.
Switzerland Balair Not part of The Qualiflyer Group, just the frequent-flyer program.
Became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Berlin in 2001, joined Oneworld as an affiliate member on 20 March 2012, and exited on 28 October 2017 due to Air Berlin's collapse.
Switzerland Crossair Founding member of the Qualiflyer frequent-flyer program.
Poland LOT Polish Airlines Joined the Miles & More frequent flyer program and became a Star Alliance member on 26 October 2003.
Germany LTU International Not part of The Qualiflyer Group, just the frequent-flyer program.
Merged into Air Berlin on 13 October 2009.
Portugal Portugália Airlines Merged into TAP Air Portugal on 15 April 2022.
Belgium Sabena
Switzerland Swissair Founding member of the Qualiflyer frequent-flyer program.
Portugal TAP Air Portugal Joined Star Alliance on 14 March 2005.
Turkey Turkish Airlines Not part of The Qualiflyer Group, just the frequent-flyer program. Left the alliance before it dissolved.
Joined Star Alliance on 1 April 2008.
Italy Volareweb.com


Qualiflyer won industry awards in a wide range of categories.

Freddie Awards[edit]

  • Gold for best flight reward
  • Gold for best accrual bonus
  • 3rd best newsletter
  • 3rd best program for spending miles
  • 2nd best award redemption
  • 2nd best program for spending miles
  • 3rd best frequent flyer program of the year
  • 3rd best accrual bonus
  • 3rd best credit card partnership
  • 2nd best frequent flyer program of the year
  • 2nd best award redemption
  • 3rd best newsletter
  • 3rd best website

Swiss Dialogue Marketing Awards[edit]

This award honors the best dialogue marketing campaigns and is selected by a jury of dialogue marketing experts.

  • Gold award for relaunch of the Qualiflyer Circle welcome kit
  • Silver award for launch of Travelclub Gold


  1. ^ Das, T.K. Managing Alliance Portfolios and Networks. IAP. p. 96. ISBN 168123906X.
  2. ^ Qualiflyer Group

External links[edit]