National carrier Air India has been invited to join Star Alliance, the leading global conglomeration of 28 top international carriers. Air India is likely to join the alliance by June this year.
The invitation came as a result of lifting an earlier suspension of the membership process on Air India’s admission to the alliance.
In one of the major meetings that took place a few months ago in Vienna, the Star Alliance had unanimously decided to lift the suspension and revive the invitation.
“Air India will be the first Indian airline to join the group. The integration will no doubt help the airline improve its revenue and become green as far as the finance is concerned. It can also widen its operations as global connectivity could be increased through a number of partner airlines,” said an Air India official here.
As soon as the process gets finalised and Air India becomes a member in the alliance, the passengers can avail huge benefits, the official said.
Seamless transfers while travelling on international sectors, choosing a large number of flights as code sharing is possible, gaining access to facilities at over 1,000 lounges worldwide and adding up flyer mileage points will be a few of the facilities to name.
The Star Alliance network presently offers over 18,100 daily departures to 975 destinations in 162 countries. It is the biggest association of airlines today that offers customers convenient reaches worldwide and hassle-free travel.
“It’s going to be a milestone in the history of Air India’s international operations,” said the official. “It’s also an approval from an international organisation to an Indian airline because highest standards in security and technical infrastructure are criteria to its approval along with customer service.”
In 2007, Air India was considered a future member of the Alliance but the integration process was halted in July 2011 as the merger with erstwhile Indian Airlines had not been completed.
The present members include Air Canada, United Airlines, US Airways, Avianca, Copa Airlines, TAM Airlines, Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, TAP Portugal, Air China, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Air New Zealand, Egyptair, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, and Turkish Airlines.