INDIA & MIDDLE EAST: Support for Jet’s Star entry upsets govt

India’s civil aviation ministry is upset with German carrier Lufthansa for its apparent backing of Jet Airways for inclusion into Star Alliance while state-run Air India (AI) is still waiting in the wings, according to a government official, The Economic Times of India reported. AI has operated codesharing flights with Lufthansa between Germany and India […]


India’s civil aviation ministry is upset with German carrier Lufthansa for its apparent backing of Jet Airways for inclusion into Star Alliance while state-run Air India (AI) is still waiting in the wings, according to a government official, The Economic Times of India reported. AI has operated codesharing flights with Lufthansa between Germany and India since 2004 and was a key backer for AI joining thealliance.

Following instructions from the civil aviation ministry, the Indian embassy in Germany has now written to Lufthansa, pointing out that the carrier’s move to back Jet Airways would put Air India at a disadvantage.

Air India is now expected to join the Star Alliance in the first quarter of 2010, one year later than its scheduled plan for entry in March 2009. The delay is understood to be a result of the ongoing process of integrating the former Indian Airlines into Air India which began nearly 18 months ago and was expected to conclude by the end of 2008 and join Star at about the same time. The two airlines have yet to integrate their different IT platforms under one common system.