The Star Alliance network’s Chief Executive Board has approved the membership of Air India, clearing the way for the national carrier to become the first Indian airline to join a global airline alliance.
The decision, taking at a board meeting on Monday, was unanimously approved and as of July 11, Air India can offer all Star Alliance customer benefits provided to all members, including Lufthansa and Aegean Airlines, Austrian, Egyptair, LOT Polish and other carriers that fly to Cyprus.
"We restarted the re-integration with Air India in December last year and just half a year later we are ready to confirm the official joining date. We look forward to welcoming Air India passengers to our global network and offering them our Alliance benefits. At the same time we are pleased to be providing our existing customers improved access to a region which includes the world's fifth largest domestic aviation market," said Jeffrey Goh, Star Alliance COO.
Air India will add a total of 400 daily flights and 35 new destinations in India to the Alliance network. The biggest growth will come from its home market which is currently being served by 13 Star Alliance members flying to ten destinations and holding a 13% market share.
Bringing Air India into the equation adds more airports but also increases the Alliances market share in India to 30%. Globally, passengers will further benefit from a wider choice on routes connecting North America, Europe, Asia and Australia via the Indian Subcontinent. In total the Star Alliance network will grow to 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
Air India has a network of 33 destinations across the USA, Europe, Canada, Far East and South-East Asia and the Gulf. The domestic network covers 50 destinations, including far-flung areas of the North East, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Air India flies one of the youngest fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, Airbus A330s, latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft.
The Star Alliance http://www.staralliance.com/en/ network, established in 1997, includes Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United.
The integration of Avianca Brasil is currently in progress.
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