Terming the decision of the Star Alliance, a global grouping of airlines, to ''suspend'' the entry of Air India into its ranks as ''unacceptable'', the government said the state-owned carrier had met the necessary entry requirements. The minister of civil aviation even termed the decision as a ''trick'' played out by the Alliance.
''This is unacceptable,'' civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi informed media representatives. ''They have played a trick,'' he added.
It also appears that the fly in the ointment may really have been private carrier Jet Airways, and that the decision may have been a means to provide Jet a backdoor entry into the Alliance.
In the rationale provided by it for its decision Star Alliance cited Air India's failure to meet minimum joining conditions (MJC), contractually agreed to in December 2007. This claim was immediately contested by AI, which said that the Alliance had confirmed through its letter on 30th July that the airline had met all MJCs.
The MJCs included single reservation code, upgrade of IT systems etc. by 31 July.
According to sources, the letter also stated that only a few conditions weren't met and conceded that these would have been activated with the airline's entry into the network.