The Star Alliance airline network has named Thai Smile Airways, the wholly owned subsidiary of partner carrier Thai Airways, as the second member of its Connecting Partner program. The program provides for a link to the network without becoming a member. The carrier is expected to complete the integration process by the end of 2019. The first Connecting Partner was China-based Juneyao Airlines. As a Connecting Partner, Thai Smile must integrate operations and benefits with at least three full alliance members. It currently has interline agreements with more than that, a fact that will ease the integration process. The efforts will further be eased by the relationship with its parent airline, as Thai Airways can assist with the integration work. Thai Smile’s joining the alliance extends priority baggage handling, lounge access and premium check-in benefits to Star Alliance Gold elite status holders on connecting itineraries.