Air India offered oneworld invitation by Qatar Airways?

This is just a news report at this moment, but it looks like Air India has grown tired of insisting upon Star Alliance to let them into their group, and is now using other tactics to try and get them to make up their mind. Air India’s application to join Star Alliance was put on hold at the last moment in July 2011.

As per this news publication, Qatar Airways is ready to sponsor the entry of Air India into oneworld. What beats me, is that they aren’t even a full member themselves yet (will be inducted on October 30), but they’re going around promising airlines their support for membership.

A senior Air India official said that Qatar had approached them to join Oneworld. “Our first preference is to join Star Alliance but we cannot wait forever to join it. In the meeting with Star Alliance, our CMD is likely to raise the Qatar offer and set a September-end deadline for the alliance to respond on inducting us,” said the official.

The gloves are clearly off now, especially in light of the close cooperation that will ensue between Etihad & Jet Airways in the coming months. Air India seems to have realised that it needs to get on board a bigger revenue opportunity, or it will get dwarfed under the equity alliance of 9W & EY.

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