New Delhi, July 18: International airline association Star Alliance Monday described as progressive the talks held between its members and senior government officials on inducting national carrier Air India’s into the grouping.
‘A meeting was held today to discuss the integration and induction process of Air India into the alliance,’ Markus Rudiger, director, media relations, Star Alliance told IANS.
According to Rudiger, the talks were progressive on the issue of Air India’s systems integration and the eventual induction of the airline.
‘This was a routine meeting between government and Air India officials with us. A range of topics, including the induction, was discussed,’ Rudiger said.
He said that a final decision on the induction of the airline and the date for the agreement would be taken by the board members of Star Alliance.
No further date or schedule for the next meeting was disclosed.
Air India officials said that the meeting was held to take stock of the progress made by the airline to join the international airlines’ network.
The airline plans to join the Star Alliance network by July 31 this year.
Earlier, in a meeting between both the sides, the national carrier’s representatives apprised the readiness of Air India to join Star Alliance by July 31.
Formed in 1997, Star Alliance is a consortium of 27 airlines, including Lufthansa, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Swiss, among other major airlines of the world. Its members have more than 4,000 aircraft and serve 181 countries.
Star Alliance has certain minimum joining requirements, which involve development and testing systems, and procedures to harmonize the product with other members.
Currently Air India operates flights to 63 domestic destinations and has a network of 33 international destinations with a fleet of 127, which includes Airbus A-319, A-320, A-321, A-310, A-330, Boeing 737-800, B-777 and B-747 apart from ATR-42 and CRJ aircraft.