Star Alliance looking to ditch Air India?

Mumbai\New Delhi: Air India's cup of woes is spilling over with loan and staff salary default and a rapidly shrinking market share already pushing it into a corner, it now faces opposition to its entry into the Star Alliance from member airlines. The grouping, which allows member airlines to provide extension of services to other member airlines, has been preparing Air India for entry into its ranks for quite some time now.

Airlines sources now indicate that some of the 27 members of Star Alliance are now opposed to Air India's entry into the global airline alliance. Rules dictate that should even a single member oppose entry into the alliance then a candidate will fail to gain membership.

 ''The chief executive board of Star Alliance will meet on Sunday to vote on the issues. We will get to know the result by Monday morning. As of now, our induction date has been postponed for a couple of weeks. After finding out the result of the voting, we will be notified of the induction date,'' said an Air India official.

Air India has been labouring to meet a 31 July deadline for meeting admission requirements for joining the Star Alliance. Airline officials said that these requirements have now been met. It has been late in adhering to standards by 18 months.

The airline has already paid €10 million (Rs63 crore approximately) as joining fee.

Star Alliance officials met Air India and civil aviation ministry officials last week and said that the meetings were ''progressive''.