Star Alliance and Air India can’t seem to make up their minds…

Back in July 2011, Star Alliance put a lid on Air India’s ambitions to join their little coterie, by stating that the majority of the member airlines were against AI joining on the back of security concerns. Business seems to have taken over that logic now, and the media is reporting that Star Alliance and Air India are now back in talks again. This opening is clearly a nice choice of words since AI’s membership was ‘suspended’ and not completely withdrawn at that instance.

Reportedly, AI and *A met up in December 2011, and members are ‘reconsidering their stand‘ on AI. This is closely to be read with the fact that a new CEO is taking over *A (Mark Schwab), and a new bureaucrat is in the topshot seat at AI (Rohit Nandan). That Star Alliance has been desperate to get into India is no news, and that they are also wooing Jet Airways is also old news. But in the ways the Indian bureacracy works, the folks must have come to realise that unless Air India gets on board, no one else is going to get a ticket to ride their bus. The government also wants to stall Jet Airways to get into Star Alliance, and has been tomtomming the one airline in one alliance theory where Jet automatically gets relegated to SkyTeam.

This desperation could also stem from the fact that Air India/Star Alliance were almost ready to go live, and have now been beaten to the tape by Kingfisher Airlines/oneworld, in the next 40 days. Heck, Air India even put the *A logo on the new Boeing 787s they were going to buy. And yes, Lufthansa wants to fly their A380s in India and take away a good chunk of traffic to the Americas too.

Aargh, make up your minds quick people. You are all affecting my choice of airlines and allliances in the times to come.


P.S.: I hope the MegaDo organisers are reading. They might have to camp in India with Star Alliance MegaDo 5 or 6 😉


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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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