Air India fails to meet Star Alliance deadline

Air India’s integration into Star Alliance has been put “on hold”, after it failed to meet the alliance’s standards.

The carrier’s planned membership of the alliance was first announced in 2007, and it had been due to complete the joining process by last year.

In May, however, Star Alliance had given Air India a deadline of July 31 (see online news May 10) to meet the minimum terms of its joining contract, which, as it has now emerged, it was unable to do.

The decision to suspend the integration process was reached by the member airlines of Star Alliance and Air India itself, according to an official statement.

The Indian airline failed to meet the minimum joining conditions that were contractually agreed in December 2007.

The status of Air India’s application underwent a review at a meeting attended by Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance’s CEO, Arvind Jadhay, Air India’s CMD, and representatives from the Indian Ministry for Civil Aviation.

Albrecht said: “With the collective decision to put the integration efforts on hold today we aim to contribute to Air India’s flexibility to concentrate on its ongoing strategic reorientation.

“In this process our member carriers will continue to provide assistance to Air India wherever required.”

The road to future membership has been left open, however, with existing relationships with Star Alliance member alliances unaffected by the decision.

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  • RalphMcDonald

    I am not really surprised at Air India’s incapability of meeting the required standards of entry for membership of the Star Alliance. I wonder if Star Alliance ever makes spot checks on airlines who are already members to see if they are offering consistency of service, I feel sure that certain members such as British Midland and Continental and United fall short in some areas.

  • EasternPedlar

    I’ve always wondered why Star Alliance even considered Air India for membership in the first place. That airline has been a basket case since time immemorial! Shoddy service, disillusioned and unhelpful staff, filthy planes, a poor safety record, and serious mismanagement have brought AI to its kees. Jet’s a far better choice, but there are concerns that the Indian Goverment might adopt a dog-in-the -manger approach and block them from joining the Alliance – AI is after all the Government’s airline.

  • SuperSally

    Just to add to AjayPuri’s comment, it is unlikely the Indian Goevernment would adopt such an approach to block Jet, if they considered joining an alliance. They have already approved Kingfisher Airline’s application to join Oneworld – which is naturally a much more premier focused alliance than that of Star which seems to have adopted a quantitative approach rather than one of quality in their expansive strategy.