Air India has today officially become the 27th member of Star Alliance.
The carrier's planned entry into the alliance was first announced in 2007 and had been due to complete in 2010.
However, Air India was unable to meet the minimum terms required by Star Alliance and the process was halted in 2011 (see news, August 2011). The induction process finally recommenced at the end of last year (see news, December 2013).
Last month, Star Alliance executives met with Air India officials in London and agreed that the airline will become its 27th member (see news, June 24).
Star Alliance chief executive Mark Schwab said: "This is an important day for us. We have said for many years that we needed a strong home carrier in the Indian market and by welcoming Air India to our Star Alliance family, we have achieved this goal.
"We know that the 'new' Air India is looking forward to providing the Star Alliance customer benefits to many more travellers."
Air India adds 400 daily flights and over 40 new destinations in India to the alliance network.
The biggest growth will come from its home market, which has up to now been served by 13 Star Alliance members flying to ten destinations and holding a 13 per cent market share. From today, the alliance's market share in India has risen to 30 per cent.
Rohit Nandan, Air India chairman and managing director, said: "Air India is proud to be a member of this prestigious airline alliance.
"From today, we open up a completely different world for our passengers, who can now travel to over 1,300 destinations right across the network and enjoy world-class service, better connectivity and seamless travel wherever they go."