Time may well be running out for Air India (AI) to join the Star Alliance. After having missed two previous deadlines, AI has been given time till July 31 to meet all criteria to enter the prestigious grouping of airlines.
While AI’s fate hangs in balance, Star is keen on another Indian carrier —Jet Airways —joining its fold.
Asked if it could be the end of the road for AI if it missed the July 31 deadline, Carsten Spohr, CEO, Lufthansa, said, “A deadline usually means a deadline… why do you give someone a deadline.” Lufthansa, a founding member of the alliance, has been AI’s mentor, helping and guiding it complete formalities for joining the alliance. Star Alliance had decided to accept AI into its fold in December 2007.
Spohr said Jet would be a “great second member”. “Jet would be a great addition to Star. We have always said there is room for two Indian carriers in Star. Star has invited both carriers and whoever is ready is welcome to join.”. He did not say how much time Jet would take to join but added that Star was “ready to welcome Jet anytime. We have a bilateral relationship with Jet which has been very positive for many years.”
The writer’s travel and accommodation for the US trip was paid by Lufthansa