Will Jet Airways not go on to Star Alliance? What??

I know this makes no sense and it is getting ridiculous by the day. This game of playing hard to get and keeping everyone guessing seems to be not exactly some sort of charm offensive anymore Jet Airways seems to want to show with its alliance suitors.

I noted in a post on the 1st of August, that Star Alliance had finally extended a formal invitation to Jet Airways to hop on board. Then, a few weeks later, it did look like Jet Airways seemed to have nailed its spot because the Air India pressures of joining before Jet Airways were going away.

Now, if all this is true, then I am not sure what to make of this report that was published in the newspapers today. A leading Indian daily newspaper carries this article today, titled “Jet Airways may not join Star Alliance”. It says:

Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, may not get any member airline from India — one of the world’s largest growing aviation market.

After the 27-strong member alliance rejected Air India’s application for a membership, Jet Airways, who is in talks with the alliance, may decide against joining the group.

We are talking to all three alliances and may not join Star Alliance because they already have a strong member in this side of the world,” said a senior Jet executive on condition of anonymity.

The Naresh Goyal-promoted airline is also in talks with global alliances Oneworld and SkyTeam.

We do not know how much will we benefit by joining the alliance with Singapore already a member. There is a thinking that the benefits will not be much from Star Alliance and our talks with the other two airline alliances is also on,” he said.

(emphasis is mine)

Now, this is where it gets so totally confusing. This fact was totally known for the longest time that Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, they did not join this morning. And conversely, there are many other members in the alliance in this side of the world, which includes the likes of ANA and Air China, so why single out Singapore Airlines.

On the other hand, the spokesperson for Jet Airways forgets that there is a strong member carrier in oneworld as well, called Cathay Pacific on this side of the world, which will be followed by Malaysia Airlines later this year. And SkyTeam, like Star Alliance, has loads of Asian carriers as well, including those from China, Korea and other parts of South East Asia as well.

Is this a simple case of posturing via the public media to get yourself the best deal? Or is Jet Airways confused about what it wants to do with its alliance strategy?

Given the new thought process at Jet Airways, do you think any Indian airline will ever come around to joining an alliance? Air India is not wanted, Kingfisher is non existent and Jet Airways is confused, or is trying to play off one against the other. Put your thoughts in the poll below:


Will any India-based airline join an airline alliance by December 2013?

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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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