Air India, the troubled state-owned airline, risks being rejected by the Star Alliance network of airlines because of delays in fulfilling membership conditions, an executive from Star Alliance said Monday, putting in jeopardy a key element of its turnaround plan.
“We have indicated to Air India that they will have to be ready to join, by latest, end of July,” said Markus Ruediger, media relations director at Star Alliance. There are “items outstanding” on a list of about 80 requirements, he said.
He did not elaborate about what Air India still needed to do, but he said Star Alliance had already made it clear that Air India had been given extensions and had taken longer then expected to fulfill the requirements. It is “not in their interest to delay any further,” he said.
Star Alliance first invited Air India to join the group of 27 airlines, which includes Air China, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, in December 2007. The company said in March 2007 that it would merge with Indian Airlines, the state-run domestic carrier.