Things have an interesting way to move around in the Indian aviation sector. Air India took 4 long years to be ready for the *A, and eventually their membership was put on hold. Last week, a full year after the Air India membership being put on hold, I wrote about Jet Airways’ formal invitation to join the Star Alliance being made public, and how it would work out for Jet Airways.
In a press report by a major Indian financial news paper, which is actually an interview with India’s civil aviation minister, it now comes to light that Star Alliance has responded last week to Air India in the negative and the Government of India will be supportive of Jet Airways joining the Star Alliance. It also states that Air India will be moving forward to opening discussions with SkyTeam and oneworld going forward. Here is an extract:
Air India has now decided to open talks with rival alliances Sky Team and One World, which are smaller than Star Alliance. Speaking to Business Standard on a wide range of developments in the aviation sector, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said, “To be part of the alliance, every member has to agree and that has not happened, especially after the pilots’ strike, when we lost a lot of credibility. They have practically said no and have sent us a letter last week. We have asked Air India to look for other options and alliances.”
It further goes on to say:
I think Jet being a private airline cannot be a cause to stop them. It is also a domestic airline and flies with our national flag. It is up to Star Alliance to accept them.
Though i cannot still figure out ‘they have practically said no’, my guess is that Star Alliance airlines in principle do not want Air India to be joining their alliance, and they are now offering Air India the chance to withdraw their application and save face rather than saying a blunt “No” and maybe closing the chances of Air India to join any other alliance as well. It could also be related to the $10 Million AI paid towards joining the alliance a while back, but I don’t believe in this billions of dollars industry, anyone is worried about refunding $10 million to AI.
So, if this is the way the situation would play out for Jet Airways, then clearly it should be getting the entrance ticket to the Star Alliance sooner than later.
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- Kingfisher all set to join oneworld in February 2012
- Kingfisher Airlines entry to oneworld ‘on hold’
- First glimpes of Kingfisher with the oneworld logo
- Jet Airways revamps JetPrivilege program (in a good way!), adds benefits across the board!