Air India is not an airline known for being punctual and now the airline must either be on time or be left all alone.
On December 13th 2007 Star Alliance, the worlds largest airline alliance, formally invited Air India to join as a member, with the intended entry date of March 29 2009. As Air India moved towards its entry date into Star Alliance it became apparent that the airline had not met the minimum entry requirements, including synching its product and computer systems with member airlines, and it pushed its entry back to 2010.
Once again, when Air India’s new entry date into Star Alliance approached, the airline remained unprepared and unable to meet the minimum entry requirements and yet another entry date was sent … July 31st 2011. This upcoming entry date will be Air India’s final opportunity to meet the alliance’s entry requirements, should the airline once again fail to meet the requirements, their invitation to enter the Star Alliance will likely be rescinded.
As Air India’s final attempt to meet the minimum requirements to join the Star Alliance approaches, the airline’s Managing Director, Arvind Jadha, has stated the airline has met the requirements for entry and has met with Star Alliance’s Chief Executives Board to assure them entry will not be delayed.
Prior to Air India’s entry into the Star Alliance, the airline and the alliance must meet with India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation to review the airlines progress, and finalize the date of the airline’s entry into the alliance. This meeting not only provides an insight into the company’s preparedness to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, but to Star Alliance as well.
Given Air India’s history of attempts to join the Star Alliance, its recent problems merging Indian Airlines and Air India, its recent financial situation requiring the airline to pay for fuel and gates on a cash-on-delivery basis and its recent extensive labour disputes it will be interesting to see if the airline is capable of finally joining Star Alliance on July 31st.