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What:Star Alliance welcomed Air India as a full member of its global family of airlines, making the carrier the first Indian airline to join the network.
Why It Matters:India is the fifth largest aviation market and one of the fastest growing segments. Air India adds a total of 400 daily flights and more than 40 new destinations in India to the Star 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 10 destinations and holding a 13 percent market share. As a result of the addition of Air India, the Alliance’s market share in the country has risen to 30 percent. Ultimately, this will mean more opportunity for travel agents booking travel to India.
Fast Facts:- Air India’s network comprises 50 destinations in India and 33 internationally, serving 23 countries.
- In total, the Star Alliance network counts 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
- Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between Air India’s Flying Returns program and those of the existing member carriers are now activated.
- Flying Returns members who hold Maharajah Club or Golden Edge Club status now automatically also have Star Alliance Gold status.
What They Are Saying:“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 Mark Schwab, Star Alliance chief executive. “We know that the ‘new’ Air India is looking forward to providing the Star Alliance customer benefits to many more travelers.”
“Air India is proud to be a member of this prestigious airline Alliance,” said Rohit Nandan, Air India chairman and managing director. “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.”