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BW Businessworld

Maharaja Befriends A Star

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Star Alliance, the way the Earth connects, has welcomed Air India as a full time member of its global family of airlines. This has opened the former's strong domestic network in the fifth largest aviation market to Star Alliance worldwide customers . 

As a result, Air India will now start offering all Star Alliance customer benefits to more than 600 million passengers who travel on the network every year. In turn, Air India's customers will enjoy the same benefits when they travel on any of the other 26 member airlines across the network.

"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.

Rohit Nandan, Air India Chairman and Managing Director 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."

The result of this alliance is beneficial for both the organisations. 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 10 destinations and holding a 13 per cent market share.

On the other hand, Air India members who hold Maharajah Club or Golden Edge Club status will now automatically also have Star Alliance Gold status, giving them access to more than 1,000 lounges across the global network. Gold status customers can also check in at specially designated counters, are offered an increased baggage allowance and receive priority boarding and baggage delivery.

As a result of the addition of Air India, the Alliance's market share in India has witnessed a 30 per cent increase. Globally, passengers further benefit from a wider choice on routes connecting North America, Europe, Asia and Australia via the Indian Subcontinent.

In total, Star Alliance network now counts 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.

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aviation air india rohit nandan star alliance mark schwab