Air India really is poised to join Star Alliance for real this time. Or so it appears.
UPDATE (24 June 2014 7:30am EDT): The @StarAlliance twitter account has confirmed 11 July 2014 as the join date. Air India will be the first airline based in India to join one of the three global alliances. They add 400 daily flights and 35 new destinations to the alliance route map.
The Star Alliance Chief Executive Board held a meeting on Monday in London as part of the festivities surrounding the official opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 facility. On the agenda was whether to grant membership in the alliance to Air India. And when looking at the list of member carriers on the Star Alliance Employees website the graphic has changed a tiny bit since early May 2014.
Note the presence of the Air India logo in the middle of the second row. The website also has a new graphic of an Air India 777 uploaded, likely to be used for PR materials at some point.
Alas, the AirIndia.com site appears to be offline right now so that cannot confirm anything. And the main Star Alliance site also doesn’t have anything published. But the other evidence is pretty strong.
The carrier was first slated to join the group in 2009. That was delayed for a variety of reasons through to 2011 at which point the integration process was formally suspended. It was only resumed in late 2013 after the carrier supposedly resolved the myriad of technical and operational issues which caused the suspension.
It is entirely possible that this is another false start where someone updated the website earlier than they should have in anticipation of the news. But it also is the first time the data is actually showing up on the Star Alliance site so that seems to be something of a vote of confidence for the move. Recent reports have suggested a join date of July 2014, pending completion of final IT integration testing. That seems viable now given what is showing on the public sites.
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