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Government officials, Star Alliance to talk next week


New Delhi : Senior government officials and members of Star Alliance will hold talks July 18 on the progress of national carrier Air India’s induction into the international airline association.

“A meeting with Star Alliance (officials) would be held July 18. Ministry officials, Air India representatives would be there in the meeting with Star Alliance,” Arvind Jadhav, chairman-cum-managing director of Air India, told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event.

The meeting, according to Jadhav, is being held to take stock of the progress made by Air India to join the international airlines’ network. The airline plans to join the Star Alliance network by July 31 this year.

Earlier, in a meeting between both the sides, the national carrier’s representatives apprised the readiness of Air India to join Star Alliance by July 31, 2011.

The meeting is also expected to finalise the date of Air India’s formal entry into Star Alliance.

Formed in 1997, Star Alliance is a consortium of 27 member airlines, including Lufthansa, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Swiss, among other major airlines of the world. It has a fleet of more than 4,000 aircraft at present serving 181 countries.

Star Alliance has certain minimum joining requirements, which involve development and testing systems, and procedures to harmonize the product with other members.

Air India currently operates flights to 63 domestic destinations and has a network of 33 international destinations with a fleet size of 127, which includes Airbus A319, 320, 321, 310, 330, Boeing B-737-800, B-777 and 747 apart from ATR-42 and CRJ aircraft.