Air India has been denied entry into the prestigious Star Alliance grouping for reasons that aren’t exactly clear.
A statement from Star Alliance said Air India is yet to meet the conditions that were contractually agreed upon in late 2007, when the airline was extended an invitation to join the grouping—a move that would have meant an increase in passenger traffic because the airline would have become the automatic choice for customers on other Star Alliance members that travel to India.
Two officials at the civil aviation ministry said the rejection came after the ministry didn’t agree to a demand from the alliance to give Jet Airways (India) Ltd the go-ahead to join the grouping.
An Air India spokesperson denied that the airline had not met the conditions prescribed for joining Star Alliance.
This marks the first time in 14 years that an airline previously extended an invitation has been denied permission to join the alliance, which has 27 members. Air India was expected to join the grouping by 31 July and the move would have increased the carrier’s annual revenue by 5-15%, according to internal estimates.
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