After many years of struggle to meet the standards set forth by Star Alliance to become a member (see story), Air India seems to be on track to finally reach this goal within months.
Star Alliance spokesman Markus Ruediger told Business Traveller: “Air India integration process is on track and that we expect the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board to take the necessary endorsement vote at their meeting on June 23 in London. Following a positive vote we expect Air India to formally join the Alliance in July this year”.
This month, Sri Lankan Airlines has officially become a member of Oneworld (see story), and the first carrier in the Indian subcontinent to successfully join an alliance.
This part of the world had long been a void in the networks of airline alliances, hampered by overly restrictive regulations, especially in India. But it seems that things are changing for the better. Last year, Singapore Airlines, a Star Alliance member, and Indian conglomerate Tata Sons signed an MOU for a joint venture (see story), and if Air India's membership to Star comes true, it will breathe new life into the region's aviation market.
Star Alliance is reportedly eyeing the SIA-Tata venture as a potential new member, but Ruediger said although the Indian market was large enough to support two member carriers, there were no concrete talks at time of this report between the alliance and any other Indian airlines.