ETW Staff – Mumbai
Air India has become the first airline from India to be inducted into the Star Alliance. On June 23, 2014, the Star Alliance Central Executive Board voted in favour of Air India to become its 27th member airline. Air India will start offering the alliance benefits and privileges to customers from July 11, 2014.
Air India operates to a network of 50 destinations in India and 33 international, covering 23 countries. Presently, the airline offers a total of 387 daily departures which include 289 domestic and 89 international, out of its primary hub Delhi and secondary hub Mumbai. Some of the benefits and privileges that will be available to passengers flying Air India are: A seamless travel experience across a vast global network, besides premium customer recognition and benefits across member airlines.
By coordinating arrival and departure times, Star Alliance member airlines have optimised connections within the network and considerably reduced waiting times for passengers. Through check-in, joint ticketing, check-in and baggage facilities, collocation and connection teams at key airports will all help offer a smooth travel experience.
Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between Air India’s Flying Returns programme and those of the existing member carriers. This will provide passengers with more options in earning and redeeming, upgrading and obtaining Star Alliance Gold status. Passengers holding Star Alliance Gold status have access to more than 1000 lounges across the global network. Besides this, member airlines of Star Alliance will now have an improved access to a region which includes the world’s fifth largest aviation market.
Membership to the Alliance will bring Air India value in terms of revenue generation and cost reduction. Member carriers work on joint purchasing initiatives like fuel and fleet coordination and collocation of information technology projects. Air India will have the benefit of adopting the global best practices, branding and global visibility.