Air India fails to meet Star Alliance deadline

1 Aug 2011 by Sara Turner

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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