1:42 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Air India Joins Star Alliance Group

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Air India Ltd has joined the Star Alliance group of carriers, a spokesman said on Tuesday, a move that could help boost revenues at the loss-making state-run airline.

Executives at Star Alliance met with Air India officials in London on Monday and agreed for the airline, which has been in talks to join since last year, to become its 27th member, Air India spokesman Praveen Bhatnagar told Reuters.

Air India will formally complete the process by mid-July, Mr Bhatnagar said.

Membership allows Air India to share routes with the other airlines to more than 1,200 destinations, helping it to compete with Gulf carriers like Emirates, which have increased their share of long-distance flights into and out of India.

Here’s what it means for you:

Code Share: It is essentially an agreement between two airlines to use each other’s existing route. For the flyer, this makes connections simpler by allowing single bookings across multiple planes. As a member of the Star Alliance, Air India will be able to code share with 26 other airlines.

For example, if you want to travel from Delhi to Sao Paolo to watch the Football World Cup and there is no direct flight. Air India as a part of the Star Alliance, can give you a ticket to Sao Paolo, through a group partner.

Frequent Flyer Miles and Lounge Access: The miles you collect on each route can be exchanged for upgrades/ free travel cross the other airlines’ network. Travelling on all these 26 airlines and routes will help you collect flying miles on one card. Besides, you can also gain access to lounges of other airlines at various airports.

Seamless Transfers: Your luggage transfer will be taken care of between the airlines and you don’t have to worry about it.

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