Seven years after first applying to be a part of Star Alliance, Air India has finally met joining requirements to become a full-fledged member. Alongside the likes of Air Canada, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand in the world’s largest airline collective, connections between Air India and its allied partners will be seamless and will give its customers access to Star Alliance lounges worldwide and the chance to accumulate and redeem points travelling on any of the alliance’s 26 other carriers. The massive Star Alliance network services over 1,300 destinations globally and Air Canada’s Aeroplan has already advised its members that earning and redeeming points flying Air India is under way.
Air India’s announcement came on the heels of news that neighboring SriLankan Airlines has been accepted into Star Alliance’s competitor, oneworld, completing a huge expansion for the group of airlines that included the addition of 15 new carriers in the last three years. As part of the world’s second largest alliance, SriLankan Airlines raises its stake in the industry and looks to bolster its already established subcontinent routes by increasing frequency of flights. Another focus will be to complete a total fleet modernization plan by eliminating most of their narrow-body aircraft aged 10 years or more for new, more cost efficient wide-body planes, making their product all the more attractive.