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Global airlines” chiefs to meet in Delhi in December

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Frankfurt, Oct 12 (PTI) Star Alliance has exuded confidence that its latest entrant Air India was putting into place the high service standards set by the largest global airlines grouping.

The 27-member airline club has also decided to hold the meeting of its Chief Executive Board (CEB) in Delhi in December this year, Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab said here.

This puts to rest speculation that the CEB meet may be shifted out of India owing to uncertainty over whether Air India CMD Rohit Nandan remains in office when the heads of airlines like Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, ANA, South African Airways, United and Turkish Airlines, gather here.

“The CEB (meet) will remain in Delhi,” Schwab said in an informal interaction with visiting Indian journalists, adding that the meeting would discuss how important India was for the Alliance.

The earlier CEB meet was held in London in June when the airlines group launched their new terminal at Heathrow.

“We have a very high level of confidence in the people that we work with in Air India that is not only Nandan but the entire executive team. We have built up a terrific working relationship with the leadership team there.

“We know what the commitments are by both parties and I am very confident that we are going to continue to fulfil the agreements that we have with them. I have no worries about that,” Schwab said when asked about the speculation that the CEB meet was being shifted out of the country.

He said the Star Alliance was “delighted” to add 40 new destinations to its global network with Air India joining it.

Besides, Air India also added a total of 400 daily flights, with the biggest growth coming from its home market which has till now been served by 13 Star Alliance members flying to 10 destinations and holding a 13 per cent market share. With Air India’s addition, the Alliance’s market share in India has risen to 30 per cent.

In total, the Star Alliance network comprises 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.

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