A Star Alliance delegation will arrive in India on December 18 to start integrating Air India into the global group of airlines.
The team is expected to carry out gap analysis and hold discussions with the Air India management on the targets the carrier needs to achieve for its full integration into the network, which offers 21,900 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries.
The entire process is expected to take three or four months to complete, depending on the levels of compliance of Air India, which was suspended in 2011 from the network.
The process involves integration of the airline’s flight network and booking systems, matching of frequent flyer programmes and access to lounges in the home countries of the airlines, among other things. This will help passengers have a seamless travel from a foreign destination to a domestic destination, switching flights and airlines belonging to the alliance. Passengers will get a wider choice of flights, earn frequent flyer mileage points and gain access to over 1,000 lounges of the alliance members.
The alliance has 28 members, including Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, South African Airways, Austrian, THAI, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.