In a significant move, Air India has formally become part of the global airlines' grouping, Star Alliance, which would enable seamless travel to over 1300 destinations for the national carrier's passengers.
Ending a seven-year-long wait, the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB), at its meeting in London yesterday, gave an endorsement vote to induct Air India into the fold. "We are happy to note that Air India has become part of the Star Alliance. This is one of the biggest alliances in the world", Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju told reporters here today.
Air India's revenues may increase by 4-5 per cent by joining the Alliance, he said. With this, Air India becomes the first Indian carrier to join a global alliance, the largest one now having 27 member airlines in its fold.
A formal induction ceremony would be held here some time next month, for which Air India is getting a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and an Airbus A-320 -- signifying its international and domestic operations, painted with the Star Alliance logo and livery. The move would help Air India passengers to access the alliance's global network of over 21980 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries. The member airlines of Star Alliance together own a total of 4,338 aircraft and fly over 640 million passengers a year, many of whom can also earn and burn frequent flyer miles on the entire alliance network.
On its behalf, Air India would provide seamless connectivity to the passengers of Star partner airlines throughout its pan-India network.
Star Alliance members include major airlines like US carrier United, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air China, Air Canada, Swiss, Austrian, All Nippon Airways, Thai and Turkish Airlines.