Star Alliance has welcomed Air India as a full member of its global family of airlines, opening the national carrier’s strong domestic network in the fifth largest aviation market to Star Alliance customers worldwide.
Air India now offers all Star Alliance customer benefits across its network and Air India’s customers enjoy the same benefits when they travel on any of the other 26 Star Alliance member airlines.
“This is an important day for us.
“We have said for many years that we needed a strong home carrier in the Indian market and by welcoming Air India to our Star Alliance family, we have achieved this goal,” said Star Alliance chief executive Mark Schwab.
“We know that the ‘new’ Air India is looking forward to providing the Star Alliance customer benefits to many more travellers.”
Air India adds a total of 400 daily flights and over 40 new destinations in India to the Alliance network.
The biggest growth will come from its home market which has up to now been served by 13 Star Alliance members flying to ten destinations and holding a 13 per cent market share.
As a result of the addition of Air India, the Alliance’s market share in India has risen to 30 per cent.
Globally, passengers 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 counts 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
Rohit Nandan, Air India chairman, said, “Air India is proud to be a member of this prestigious airline Alliance.
“From today, we open up a completely different world for our passengers, who can now travel to over 1,300 destinations right across the network and enjoy world-class service, better connectivity and seamless travel wherever they go.”
Air India now offers through check-in to the final destination for connecting flights operated by any Star Alliance member airline for both passengers and baggage, hence providing seamless travel.
Passengers benefit as they do not need to collect their boarding passes for connecting flights at the transfer airports and, where permitted by local customs regulations, baggage will also be sent through to the final destinations.