The integration process for Air India into global airline group Star Alliance is proceeding smoothly, said a senior executive of Frankfurt-based Star Alliance on Thursday. “I can say with full confidence that the integration process into Star Alliance is on track,” said Christian Klick, V-P, corporate office, Star Alliance Services.
Executives of state-owned Air India had earlier told FE the airline was expected to complete its integration into the alliance by summer this year. Post its induction into the alliance, Air India will become the 29th member of Star Alliance, which is also the world's largest airline partnership with almost $200 billion in combined revenues.
Also see: Financial Express: India's Best Banks
Klick added that Star Alliance and India's flag carrier have agreed on joint implementation to get several parameters such as IT systems and contracts (for economic transactions) working in a specified time. “There are a number of parameters that needs to be implemented when a new carrier comes on board. All these things are taking time,” he said.
During December 2007, Star Alliance had accepted Air India as its future member, only to halt the integration process in July 2011 citing that the airline couldn't meet some of the alliance's required parameters.
“Air India joining Star Alliance will complete about 30 months of hard work. Joining the alliance will enhance our brand value and provide more connectivity to our passengers,” Rohit Nandan, CMD of Air India, had said in January.
The state-owned carrier had announced plans to retrain over 8,000 front-line personnel for a more premium experience that matches Star Alliance's standards.
After the integration of Air India, a second Indian carrier could also be inducted into Star Alliance.
Klick, however, clarified that the group is not in talks with IndiGo for a possible induction.
He indicated that Star Alliance — which consists of only full-service carriers — could in the future induct low-cost carriers from across the world.