Air India users will have a wider reach because Alliance members operate 21,900 flights daily to 195 countries

From July 11, Air India will provide seamless transfers and wider choice of flights following its membership of Star Alliance, consisting of 26 international carriers.

The decision to admit Air India was taken at a meeting of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB) in London on Monday. “Air India users will have a wider reach because Alliance members operate 21,900 flights daily to 195 countries,’’ noted Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju at a news conference here on Tuesday, which was also attended by Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan.

Mr. Raju expects Air India's revenue to increase by four to five per cent.

The formal induction will take place next month, most probably on July 11, with the unveiling of the Star Alliance logo and its livery on Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner and an Airbus A-320. India is among the first clutch of countries to have acquired the Dreamliner.

Star Alliance members together have 4,338 planes that fly over 64 crore passengers every year. Air India travellers will also be able to utilise their frequent flyer miles on nearly the entire Alliance network.

The membership ends a seven year quest that began with its acceptance as a potential member in 2007. It suffered a hiccup with the suspension of the process in 2011 because of the ongoing merger between Air India and Indian Airlines.

More In: Industry | Business