India’s third largest & national airlines: Air India has finally joined Star Alliance Group. After a meeting of the Chief Executives’ Board of the member airlines in London, the world’s most powerful association of international airlines decided to include Air India into their exclusive group.
Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju announced this news today in New Delhi, as he said, “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”.
Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, Star Alliance Group is world’s largest and most powerful global alliance of airlines which was founded in 1997. As of now, there are 27 members of this alliance which includes Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways International among others.
All the benefits of being a member of Star Alliance Group will be effective from July 11.
In the year 2007, Air India was almost inducted into this alliance but due to some lapse in paperwork, the decision to include them was put on hold. After 7 years of ups and downs, Air India has finally become India’s only carrier to be part of this alliance.
Experts have calculated that this inclusion into world’s most powerful group of airlines will directly increase Air India’s revenue by 4-5% on an annual basis as the number of passengers will increase
How Big Is Star Alliance?
Last year, Star Alliance Group collectively generated revenues of $173 billion as more than 18,000 departures all over the world were carried out. As of now, they serve 630 million+ passengers spread across 193 countries and 1269 airports. Excluding Air India, they command a fleet of 4338 airplanes as 400,000+ employees are working round the clock to achieve even greater results.
What does it mean to Indian passengers?
Star Alliance has a huge network of 21,900 daily flights in 1328 cities across 193 countries. Any Air India passenger from now on will get direct access to this huge network. To give an example, say an Indian traveler on Air India flight from Pune want to go an interior location in Canada. Being a part of Star Alliance group, that passenger will now get easy connecting flights from Canada’s international airport, would be provided first priority in case the flight is booked and get various discounts and offers which are only meant for Star Alliance members.
Additionally, passengers from all member countries can now burn and earn frequent flier miles on the entire alliance network.
After this inclusion of Air India into Star Alliance, private players such as Jet, IndiGo and Air Asia will also try to get inducted into other such global group of airlines such as One World and Sky Team. The race for exclusive airlines alliances and clubs is now on in India; which is certainly a good news for passengers!