Air India officially joins Star Alliance

11 Jul 2014 by Clement Huang
Following the announcement in May that Air India was on track to join Star Alliance (see story), the Indian flag carrier has officially become a member today in a ceremony held in New Delhi. “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,” said Star Alliance chief executive Mark Schwab. Before today, India was served by 13 Star members flying to 10 destinations and holding a 13 per cent market share, but Air India has added a total of 400 daily flights and over 40 new destinations in country to the alliance’s network, including Aurangabad, Vadadora, Indore, Coimbatore and Jamnagar. As a result, the alliance's market share in India has now risen to 30 per cent. In total, the alliance’s network counts 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries. As part of Star, Air India is offering through check-in to the final destination for connecting flights operated by any fellow member airline. This means that passengers do not have to collect their boarding passes for onward legs at the transfer airport and, where permitted by local authorities, baggage will also be sent to their final destination. Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between Air India’s Flying Returns programme and those offered by existing Star members have now been activated. Flying Return cardholders who hold Maharajah Club or Golden Edge Club status have automatically been granted Star Alliance Gold status, with access to more than 1,000 lounges across the alliance’s global network. Gold status customers can also check in at designated counters, take advantage of increased baggage allowance by 20kg and enjoy priority boarding and baggage delivery. All of the aforementioned benefits are also provided by Air India to customers holding Star Alliance Gold status through other frequent flyer programmes. This includes the use of its first and business class facilities – the Maharaja Lounge – available in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad in India, as well as New York JFK airport and London Heathrow. Meanwhile, Silver Edge Club members are awarded Star Alliance Silver status, which enjoys priority reservation waitlist and priority airport standby privileges. As part of its Star Alliance membership, Air India participates in several of the alliance’s fare products and business solutions. This includes being featured in the Star Alliance Corporate Plus agreements, which are aimed at large multinational companies. Finally, the carrier has become available on the Star Alliance Round the World Fare (RTW) scheme, which allows customers to travel around the globe through the use of all 27 member airlines. For more information, visit Clement Huang
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