With Jet Airways grounded, opportunities narrowing in Indian market: Star Alliance

Press Trust of India Seoul | Updated on June 02, 2019 Published on June 02, 2019

Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance   -  PTI

India is a big aviation market and Air India provides the important domestic network but opportunities in the market are narrowing with Jet Airways being non-operational, Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh said on Sunday.

The Star Alliance is a grouping of 28 airlines, including Air India, which became a member in July 2014.

Emphasising that Air India is an important representation for the alliance in the Indian sub-continent, Goh said the airline provides very important domestic network for its members to connect into.

Big market

“Indian market is a big market and is a very fast growing market... clearly things are changing very fast in the Indian market in connection with what has happened with Jet Airways. I think certainly to that degree possible, it will help (that)... Air India will have higher capacity and better yields because there is less capacity in the market,” he said.

Full service carrier Jet Airways, which had a significant number of international flights, temporarily suspended operations in April after running out of cash.

To a query on whether there could be a second Indian carrier such as low-cost carrier IndiGo as a Star Alliance member, Goh said the grouping is positioned for having a full member as well as a connecting partner model.

“We also have the ability to integrate less traditional airlines whether they are hybrid, regional or low-cost airlines. We are positioned to address both the situations. We are not closed for business, whether an airline in India is interested in full membership or connecting partner model. It is more a question of value proposition that you can bring to the network,” he said.

Talking on the sidelines of an IATA (International Air Transport Association) event here, he stressed that an airline should prove its business case if it has to be a member or connecting partner.

IndiGo is India’s largest domestic airline with a market share of nearly 50 per cent.

SpiceJet chief on IATA board

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet’s Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh was elected to the board of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), less than three months after the airline joined the global grouping.

Founder and former Chairman of the now grounded Jet Airways Naresh Goyal, who was associated with the IATA for a long time, was a member on the previous board.

The new board of the global airlines’ grouping would be chaired by Lufthansa Group Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr, who took charge after the conclusion of the IATA annual general meeting here on Sunday.

In March, SpiceJet became the first Indian low-cost carrier to take membership of the IATA.

Other board members include Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

Star Alliance was founded in 1997 with the aim to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to international travellers.

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Published on June 02, 2019
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