May 31, 2011
Even as Air India approaches its July 31 deadline to join Star Alliance and amid raging controversy on whether the carrier will abide by the deadline, officials say confidently the date will be met.
“This event (Joining the alliance) is like an Indian wedding. Everything is last minute, but it will get done…..We will be freezing the date shortly and let you all know…… We’re on track,” confirms an Air India spokesman to Aerospace Diary.
It is believed the Cabinet reshuffle decision is delaying the confirmation of the final date for the Star event. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently hinted the shuffle could happen before the start of the monsoon session likely to be held in the second week of July. The date has not been confirmed as yet.
Air India says it has made an extensive presentation to the Star team that was in Mumbai in mid May.
There are some segments of the Star requirements that can be done only last minute, says Air India. “The identification of the premier customer is only possible on the day of launch…. Implementation of Star’s harmonized baggage policy that requires transfer to 2-3 member airlines, is another. We have ( however) completed training on this.”