Airlines & Airports
|June 24, 2014|
Star Alliance Chief Executive Board Approves Air India Membership
|At its Chief Executive Board (CEB) Meeting held in London on June 23rd, 2014, the CEOs of the Star Alliance network unanimously approved the membership of Air India, clearing the way for the National carrier to become the first Indian airline to join a global airline alliance. |
The integration teams at Air India, Star Alliance and its member carriers will now complete the last necessary work in order to ensure that Air India can offer all Star Alliance customer benefits from July 11th, 2014 onwards.
Commenting on the decision, Jeffrey Goh, Star Alliance COO said: "We restarted the re-integration with Air India in December last year and just half a year later we are ready to confirm the official joining date. We look forward to welcoming Air India passengers to our global network and offering them our Alliance benefits. At the same time we are pleased to be providing our existing customers improved access to a region which includes the world's fifth largest domestic aviation market."
Rohit Nandan, Air India Chairman and Managing Director said, "Air India worked hard to meet the exacting expectations prior to joining and today, we are elated to be inducted into the Star Alliance family. It is indeed an honour and privilege to be the first airline from India to join the alliance. We eagerly look forward to extending the benefits and privileges of Star Alliance to passengers from July 11th, 2014."
Air India will add a total of 400 daily flights and 35 new destinations in India to the Alliance network. The biggest growth will come from its home market which is currently being served by 13 Star Alliance members flying to 10 destinations and holding a 13% market share. Bringing Air India into the equation not only adds more airports but also increases the Alliances market share in India to 30%. Globally, passengers will further benefit from a wider choice on routes connecting North America, Europe, Asia and Australia via the Indian Subcontinent. In total the Star Alliance network will grow to 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between Air India's Flying Returns programme and those of the existing member carries will also become effective on July 11th, 2014. This will provide customers with more options in earning and redeeming, upgrading and obtaining Star Alliance Gold status.
Customers holding Star Alliance Gold status have access to more than 1,000 lounges across the global network, can check-in at specially designated counters, have an increased baggage allowance and receive priority boarding and baggage delivery. All these benefits will also be provided by Air India.
Air India occupies a special place in the global and Indian aviation scenario. It pioneered the aviation in India and its history is synonymous with the history of civil aviation in India. Air India is not a mere airline that transports passengers, baggage and cargo. It is a multi-faceted organization. The aviation infrastructure it has created over the years is a testimony of its contribution. Apart from servicing of all its aircraft in-house with its own engineering facilities, Air India also undertakes ground handling services of many airlines in many cities in India.
Air India has grown to become a mega international airline with a network of 33 destinations across the USA, Europe, Canada, Far-East and South-East Asia and the Gulf. The airline's domestic network covers 50 destinations, including far-flung areas of the North-East, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Air India, today, flies one of the youngest, state-of-the-art, fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, Airbus A330s, latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft.
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 a s the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Air India will be joining on July 11th, 2014 and the integration of Avianca Brasil currently in progress. Overall, the Star Alliance network presently offers more than 18,000 daily flights to 1,269 airports in 193 countries.