India a big aviation mkt; good to have stronger Lufthansa-Air India partnership: Star Alliance CEO

NewsDrum Desk
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Dubai, Jun 9 (PTI) India is a big aviation market and a stronger partnership between Air India and Lufthansa is good, as efforts of the Star Alliance are to bring the partners together to provide a unique value proposition for the passengers, the airline grouping's CEO Theo Panagiotoulias has said.

Air India and Lufthansa are part of the Star Alliance, whose 26 member airlines come together at more than 50 global hubs to offer smooth connections across a global network.

A management company, based in Frankfurt and Singapore, coordinates Star Alliance projects and activities. It includes airport co-location, digital infrastructure, frequent flyer integration and joint business lounge projects to improve the travel experience.

Talking to PTI on the sidelines of IATA annual general meeting in Dubai this week, Panagiotoulias was bullish about the prospects in the Indian market that offers "so much of opportunities".

"The alliance is to bring the partners together to provide a unique value proposition... It is all about more choices, options and for a market size of India that is the very best thing," he said.

When asked about the enhanced partnership between Air India and Lufthansa, Panagiotoulias said it is good to have stronger partnerships within the alliance.

Both airlines have a strong codeshare partnership that provides for a seamless connectivity for the passengers of both airlines.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting, Lufthansa Group Chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr had a meeting with Air India CEO and Managing Director Campbell Wilson.

To a query about the Indian market during a media roundtable here, Spohr said he had a long meeting with Air India CEO but did not disclose the details.

He also replied in the affirmative when asked whether the partnership with Air India could go beyond Star Alliance.

Star Alliance has 50 standards for the member airlines and the effort is to provide a strong value proposition to customers.

It needs to be made sure that the right value proposition is there in India, which is a big market, Panagiotoulias said.

As per the alliance's website, connecting partners and intermodal partners extend its network beyond the 1,200 airports currently served by the 26 member airlines. PTI RAM DRR