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Air India on course to join Star Alliance

Friday, 28 March 2014 - 8:35am IST | Agency: dna

Star Alliance, the grouping of global airlines that counts members like Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, on Thursday said the induction of Air India as a member of the grouping is on track.

"India is one of the most important aviation markets in the world and Star Alliance wants to cover all these important markets," said Christian Klick, vice president, corporate at Star Alliance.

While talking to reporters in Mumbai, he said the process of inducting Air India is on track but did not rule out the possibility of having second airline from India as a member.

"India is such a big market and the Indian aviation market is constantly changing. We will not rule out at this point of time that we will have further partners in future. But right now we are concentrating on working with Air India," said Klick.

A total of 28 airlines are part of the Star Alliance operating 21,900 daily flights to 1,328 destinations globally.

Air India in December last year announced its entry into the Star Alliance, even as the proposal to include it in the grouping was hanging fire since July 2011 on grounds that the airline had not fulfilled major conditions to join it. According to reports, Jet Airways was also vying with Air India to join the grouping.

When asked about Jet Airways, Klick said that from the very beginning, it was decided that Air India will be the member of Star Alliance. "So that has not changed," he said.

While talking about whether Star Alliance is looking at having a low cost carrier (LCC) as a member, Klick said, "Low cost carrier situation in all parts of the world is changing. Our member carriers are looking into setting up their LCCs. And so, we will have to look at all the options to develop and grow the alliance further."

He, however, denied having talks with IndiGo as part of the alliance. "The alliance is not talking to IndiGo on a formal scale," he said.

The integration process is expected to take few months. It would also involve integration of an airline's flight network, ticket booking systems, matching of frequent flyer programmes and access to lounges in home countries of the airline.

Passengers of Air India will be able to enjoy benefits, through sharing of resources including seamless transfers while traveling across the world, more frequent flyer mileage points, code sharing leading to a wider choice of flights and access to facilities at over 1000 lounges worldwide.

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