Air India finally gets invited into Star Alliance

It has been a nerve-wracking journey for Air India, but they finally made it. Okay, inspirational speech over. Now time for the real thing. Back in 2007, Air India was invited to join the Star Alliance, with Lufthansa sponsoring its entry. The Government of India practically dropped their pants to make concessions for Lufthansa group to get Air India into the alliance. And then, in July 2011, at the last minute, Air India’s entry into the Star Alliance was put on hold. Ever since then, there has been push and shove, and Jet Airways was also invited to join the alliance. In the backdrop, Air India kept pursuing the alliance again and again.

Star Alliance may have been forced to act due to the recent turn of events, where Jet Airways went ahead and forged a strategic alliance with Etihad. In this scenario, where only 13% marketshare in India was with *A member carriers, they had to act to get a foothold or see the Middle East based carriers take away marketshare from them.

So, yesterday, at the Star Alliance board meeting, they approved the membership of Air India again, and this time around, it might work faster to get Air India into the network, because it has to catch up with Jet-Etihad, and also a lot of the work towards integration was already completed by July 2011.

I’m very excited to see a home based carrier to get into an alliance. Let the wars for my loyalty begin!

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About Ajay Awtaney

Ajay is a financial services pro, working to bring order to the chaos of the financial industry on an everyday basis! Beyond that, he dons the hat of India's favourite frequent traveller, trying to help people elevate their travel experience via tips and tricks they never knew before, or introduce them to the world of miles and points. Armed with an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and graduate degree in computer science from the University of Delhi, Ajay brings a systematic and objective approach on the table for his audience in dissecting travel and loyalty programs in India and around the world, and how to benefit from them. Ajay has been quoted in various reputed traditional and online media including The Hindustan Times, Inside Flyer, Bloomberg, DNA India, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, Mumbai Mirror, Mint, MoneyLife and The USA Today.

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