Air India joins Star AllianceBack to Forum
Anonymous24 Jun 2014
I’m quite defeated in trying to understand what Star Alliance hopes to gain from admitting Air India to their fold.
AI is a whimsically run airline, which is plagued by last minute aircraft / route / schedule changes and highly volatile service levels. Experiences can range from comfortable to miserable with no predictability whatsoever. I have encountered all of the above personally, and now fly AI only when their fares are so, so low that it makes the suffering worthwhile. There is no way that I’d fly AI as part of a regular-priced Star Alliance ticket, and I can’t imagine that any knowing traveller would either.
AI’s share of Indian traffic continues to decline, and I wonder how much new business they will bring to Star. AI is no longer a key influencer in getting traffic rights into India either, as can be seen from the liberal grants to the likes of EK, EY and SQ. Desperate moves by an alliance that sees itself beginning to lose relevance ?
I’m not unhappy personally as I can now get status miles in Krisflyer for the few flights that I do take on AI, but I can’t see myself doing anything that will bring additional business to either AI or Star Alliance.
Does anyone on here think differently ? I’d be glad to know how and why.24 Jun 2014
What a joke! Although to me it’s no funnier than Sri Lankan joining oneworld. Considering oneworld had both Middle Eastern presence (Qatar) and Far Eastern (Cathay and Malaysian), God knows what they hope to achieve with Sri Lankan.
As for Air India joining Star, I hope this doesn’t mean LUFT will cut flights to india and transfer them to its “partner”!24 Jun 2014
Lufthansa have been the champions of Air India joining the *A and I’ve puzzled about why and can only come up with two ideas.
First, LH will do anything they can to out manouvere the ME3, they have blocked the expansion of EK in particular in Germany in a way that would not be tolerated in any other European country. Perhaps they thing with AI in the *A then they have the Gulf surrounded and that will stop anything but point to point traffic leaving Germany.
That position is obviously flawed, plenty of travellers originating in Germany use the ME3 and of course much to LH’s irritation TK so if that was the strategy I cannot see it succeeding.
The only alternative I can offer is that they are not making money on their services to India and so they plan to hand additional slots to AI at FRA and/or MUC so they can operate the services from a much lower cost base and LH can share the revenue.
I can’t comment on service standards on AI, they’ve been on my no fly list for many years.
Just my thoughts – others?24 Jun 2014
The thing about AI, myself included (and I’m as Indian as you can get) is that it’s always had a very questionable reputation in the market as far as standards go. No one outright hates it and I’ve heard a few good stories…but I’ve also heard scary ones. But if LH are planning on Xferring their services to AI, I’m afraid they’ll be handing over business to the ME3 or Oneworld! Most business travellers from India and the software generation avoid AI (on European and NA markets where they have other choices). The majority of folks using it are parents visiting their kids abroad!24 Jun 2014
It seems to me that airline alliances now collect airlines with the same vigour and enthusiasm as I did when I collected hockey cards when I was a young lad……or to bring it into today’s world….panini world cup stickers. !!
And in the case of Air India ,star alliance have managed to add Samaras to their world cup collection.24 Jun 2014
We also questioned Star’s thinking when Turkish and Egyptair joined, yet both seem to offer good service and a great Business class so maybe AI will surprise to the positive side as well?25 Jun 2014
LuganoPirate – 25/06/2014 02:55 GMT
It’s interesting that Lufthansa also sponsored the entry of Turkish who they are now complaining are taking too much business out of Germany.25 Jun 2014
Egyptair offering good service and business class – that’s news to me, was under the impression it was exceptionally cheap but you get what you pay for, which is not a lot?25 Jun 2014
JohnHarper, unless it’s part of their master plan to split the competition. Delhi, Mumbai etc all make good hubs for onward travel to the East, with LH feeding into them, with perhaps better connection times the the ME3?25 Jun 2014
BusinessBabble, I accept your point, but I’ve always enjoyed Egyptair. True it’s not up to LH or LX standards but I’ve always found the crew to be charming and make the best of anything. I don’t eat on board anyway so food quality does not bother me either. The seat is fine so all in all I’ve nothing to complain about.25 Jun 2014
AI though pretty much questional when ‘everything’ is concerned, still holds a major domestic market share in India. Let’s not forget BA and LH count India as (if i’m not wrong) top 3 markets.
It’s was only about an year or so ago that the LH was threatened with losing landing rights in India for denying AI entry into Star. India was saying that the LH Group of airlines is ‘basically a single German airline with hubs in ZRH, VIE and FRA+MUC’. So landing rights should be limited to those given to LH itself.
Then you have AI which wanted/ wants to have a european hub esp for its North American traffic and FRA was/has been/ is still being envisioned as primary candidate for the hub.
So, since LH & the rest rely alot on connecting traffic why not get as much from a big market as India. LH has an extensive mainland Europe network and most certainly could seem more attractive to passengers wishing a one-stop connection to most of Europe. Though when when it comes pricing you can expect EK to outdo them.
And with Indian airlines for now not allowed to launch new routes to the US after the downgrade by the american authorities, you can imagine United is also salivating at the opportunity of many connecting passengers for example at LHR.
AI can offer it’s passengers more connections and Star get’s a major footing in a big aviation market.
I’d expect many codeshares to be announced soon.
And you also have SIA’s involvement in the indian aviation along with the Tata Group…..25 Jun 2014