Air India | Star Alliance : As star alliance member, Air India can raise the bar: Jeffrey Goh


Mumbai: Air India, under its new owners Tata Group, has an opportunity to enhance its product and services to better leverage the opportunities offered by airline memberships and digital add-ons from Star Alliance, the global grouping’s chief executive said.

Star Alliance comprises 26 airlines that partner each other on cross-ticketing, use of flight codes and share even airport lounges. Air India has been a member since 2015.

“For us, they (Air India) provide a very significant network proposition, particularly the Indian domestic market and the regions surrounding India,” Jeffrey Goh told ET, speaking on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) held in Doha recently.

“We have worked very closely with them to help them mature their network aspirations by encouraging partnerships and, of course, there’s still some way for them to go to develop some more partnerships within Star Alliance,” he said.

“But at the same time, Air India also has some runway in terms of product and service elevation and being a member of Star Alliance gives them an opportunity to try to elevate and raise the bar for themselves,” he added.

Goh said the investment from Tata Sons “opens a great opportunity for product enhancement and uplifting service excellence that will put Air India at the forefront that they deserve, given their history, the network and the market that they have.”

The aviation-to-automobile conglomerate in October last year won a bidding process to acquire the government-owned airline and took it over in January. Senior executives at the Tata Group including chairman N Chandrasekaran have said there would be a considerable emphasis on technology and digitalisation at the airline.

“In the short term, it is about getting the house in order under the new management. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, in terms of the restructuring, taking care of the basics addressed. Simultaneously, partnerships also need to be built and enhanced to make sure that they are continuing to grow in strength and so on,” said Goh.

He said going forward, passengers of Air India could potentially book forward flights operated by its codeshare and interline partners (that can share flight codes and passengers) on its own app. Other products would include faceless check-ins.


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