AA94
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AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:21 am

Something came across the wire this morning that was very short, but very interesting:

Quote:
Oct 9 (Reuters) - India plans to ask Germany's Lufthansa AG to help Air India join Star Alliance, aviation minister Ajit Singh said on Tuesday, as it renews its push to become a member of the airlines network after failing to do so last year.

Both Air India and market leader Jet Airways can become members of Star Alliance at the same time, he added.



Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...staralliance-idUSI8E8IV02M20121009

Hmmm ...

[Edited 2012-10-09 03:21:39]
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TeamintheSky
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:31 am

Is it just me, or does that sound wildly anit-competitive to have both carriers in Star. Obviously the Chinese have multiple carriers in the same alliance, but competition is limited by route structure so there isn't a terribly large amount of overlap. In the US, it definitely seems that we are headed towards three large legacies in each of the alliances.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:41 am

round and round we go again with this, hasn't Star already said NO! so by getting LH on the hand won't change Star's mind? might they have been kicked back by the other two OW/ST!?
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aloges
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:58 am

Oh, for Pete's sake! What if LH doesn't oblige, will they be forced to cut services to India?   
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PanHAM
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:01 am

No, they will just have to cut back to A320 service with double stops en-route.  

If AI had done it's homework and if the Indian Givernment did not wrap that carrier in red tape, the'd be a member now.

Own fault, I'd say and LH should keep Jet in the Star family.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:36 am

I think this takes care of any reservations *A had - now the GoI is ready to let both AI and 9W join together. Given the dynamics and changes in the region (around EY/ QR/ EK), I think it would be really foolish of *A/LH to let go of this opportunity to let both 9W and AI in.
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aeroblogger
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:18 pm

I'm inclined to agree with Nimish... With OW surrounding India and *A needs to take as much as they can of the Indian market...

[Edited 2012-10-09 07:26:46]
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:44 pm

What is in it for LH? Seriously. For initially sponsoring AI they have had costs but no benefit. AI is not the airline

Quoting AA94 (Thread starter):
Both Air India and market leader Jet Airways can become members of Star Alliance at the same time, he added.

I doubt that. The GoI was very specific at one airline per alliance. *A should have 9W join first if they offer both. But after all the hassle AI made *A go through... why offer again?

Quoting aloges (Reply 3):
What if LH doesn't oblige, will they be forced to cut services to India?

   If the GoI wants to take on the country funding most of Europe... sure...

But that appears what the GoI wants to do:
"Ministry officials say that bilateral conditions specify that only the official airline of a country with which such an agreement has been signed should be flying into India. Since Swiss is not the national airline of Switzerland, permissions could be withdrawn."
http://www.firstpost.com/business/go...ai-star-alliance-issue-484750.html

Does India really want their bilateral rights with Europe scrutinized at this economic juncture? They are threatening a trade war. Do the people of India really want that?

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 6):
With OW surrounding India and *A needs to take as much as they can of the Indian market...

9W would be sufficient. AI will always be stuck in GoI red-tape. Best for *A to avoid that.

I know of not one regular traveler to India who likes AI. I know several who use 9W.

AI had their window to join the alliance. They should not be given another 3 years to try again. It is time to move on. If *A takes in AI, they will have the GoI interfering with their operation forever.

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PanHAM
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:46 pm

OK, I agree with the arguments you show.

Teaming up with * Alliance can indeed be ebenficial to all concerned, certainly for LH. MUC and FRA would be perfectly located as hubs for Indian / North and south America traffic
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nicode
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:24 pm

You are always speaking of Star Alliance and OneWorld.

There is also SkyTeam...
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:03 pm

Quoting nicode (Reply 9):
There is also SkyTeam...

Apparently not on the wishlist. It seems like AI is such a beneficial player to any alliance that they can freely choose which alliance they want to join, as all cry out for such an important carrier  
Quote:
Since Swiss is not the national airline of Switzerland, permissions could be withdrawn."

I must have missed out on something. Which country is Swiss the national airline of then?


I feel inclined to rage all over the place when I hear of companies making business with such shady governments. Stating facts is one thing to convince somebody of his own interests, but making up random noise to force somebody into a position that they don't need to be in is a shameless move.

LH is in a really tricky situation now. If they make a step towards AI they will have hard times with their alliance affiliates as most of them oppose the inquiry of this airline in *A. But if LH backs off they might just face a critical situation with Indian traffic, which is an extremely large chunk of the long-haul they send through FRA.
For LHs sake I hope that European authorities and the German Ministry of Transportation has their back on this delicate matter.
For AIs sake I hope that Indian officials get their grip on how a company is run effectively and without a glimpse of corruptive activity.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 7):
What is in it for LH? Seriously.

I think aloges and PanHAM have it right...something like "Those are some nice routes into India you have there. Shame if something were to happen to them..."
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:08 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 6):
I'm inclined to agree with Nimish... With OW surrounding India and *A needs to take as much as they can of the Indian market...

Me too. Maybe they are offering LH or * in general something they cant refuse on top.

Imagine * would be able to offer connections much better (regarding prices, connections ...) to be better than the Gulf carriers. Actually I don't believe this is possible at the moment but its worth a thought.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:17 pm

I ask again, what is the positive in this for India? Not the avoided pain, but the positive for AI in *A?

If AI has reformed that much, they should present their case to Skyteam.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 10):
LH is in a really tricky situation now. If they make a step towards AI they will have hard times with their alliance affiliates as most of them oppose the inquiry of this airline in *A. But if LH backs off they might just face a critical situation with Indian traffic, which is an extremely large chunk of the long-haul they send through FRA.

Does India really want a trade war? If LH bows to the GoI, they will have just learned a tactic to keep extracting more.

Quoting warden145 (Reply 11):
"Those are some nice routes into India you have there. Shame if something were to happen to them..."

And what legal means will the GoI use? Will the return to an earlier bilateral impacting Indian Pharma and Chemical industries? India is threatening a trade war; do they really want to do that?

How far back shall the bilaterals be impacted? Shall they push to impact the call centers and IT industries? If they have legal grounds... push forward. But unilateral changes will be met with other unilateral changes which neither side wants.


Quoting SQ22 (Reply 12):
Maybe they are offering LH or * in general something they cant refuse on top.

If that is the case, LH must say no or they will be dancing to the GoI for decades.

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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:26 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
If that is the case, LH must say no or they will be dancing to the GoI for decades.

Lightsaber

You made a score.  Nevertheless its worth a thought.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:36 pm

If the government really wanted them in Star and I was LH I would say "Alright we'll sponsor you, as long as we can get our A380s flights to India." It will be interesting to see if the gov't plays with LH a little bit. They aren't going to want to lose their India routes.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 15):
If the government really wanted them in Star and I was LH I would say "Alright we'll sponsor you, as long as we can get our A380s flights to India." It will be interesting to see if the gov't plays with LH a little bit. They aren't going to want to lose their India routes.
Blue

I would add: And as long as no one else outside of * can make us of A380. But this would be total impossible, but from reading the 787 thread nothing seem to be impossible.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:46 pm

Having AI on board would be a disaster for *A. AI's unreliability and terrible customer service would piss off a lot of passengers who travel with *A. There is no hope for AI, until and unless the GOI divests itself from it and allows management to hire and fire its workers at will without having to be beholden to AI's inefficient and often corrupt public sector unions.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:54 pm

Quoting goacom (Reply 17):

Having AI on board would be a disaster for *A. AI's unreliability and terrible customer service would piss off a lot of passengers who travel with *A. There is no hope for AI, until and unless the GOI divests itself from it and allows management to hire and fire its workers at will without having to be beholden to AI's inefficient and often corrupt public sector unions.

AMEN!

Air India is a third-rate airline. Lufthansa shouldn't even waste its time with this embarrassing situation.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:54 pm

Quoting Semaex (Reply 10):
For LHs sake I hope that European authorities and the German Ministry of Transportation has their back on this delicate matter.

Do you remember the trouble with the Russian overflight rights?  
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aeroblogger
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:19 pm

I don't know why I even bother responding... This thread epitomizes exactly the kind of unwarranted bashing AI receives every time it is brought up in conversation...


The "I flew AI once 5 years ago but know everything about it" posts:

Quoting goacom (Reply 17):
Having AI on board would be a disaster for *A. AI's unreliability and terrible customer service would piss off a lot of passengers who travel with *A. There is no hope for AI, until and unless the GOI divests itself from it and allows management to hire and fire its workers at will without having to be beholden to AI's inefficient and often corrupt public sector unions.
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 18):
AMEN!

Air India is a third-rate airline. Lufthansa shouldn't even waste its time with this embarrassing situation.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 7):

I know of not one regular traveler to India who likes AI. I know several who use 9W.

The "Government-owned carriers are evil" posts:

Quoting Semaex (Reply 10):

I feel inclined to rage all over the place when I hear of companies making business with such shady governments.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
And what legal means will the GoI use? Will the return to an earlier bilateral impacting Indian Pharma and Chemical industries? India is threatening a trade war; do they really want to do that?

How far back shall the bilaterals be impacted? Shall they push to impact the call centers and IT industries? If they have legal grounds... push forward. But unilateral changes will be met with other unilateral changes which neither side wants.

The "AI is completely at fault and LH Group/Star Alliance is totally innocent" posts:

Quoting aloges (Reply 3):
Oh, for Pete's sake! What if LH doesn't oblige, will they be forced to cut services to India?
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 7):
AI had their window to join the alliance. They should not be given another 3 years to try again. It is time to move on. If *A takes in AI, they will have the GoI interfering with their operation forever.
Quoting aloges (Reply 19):
Do you remember the trouble with the Russian overflight rights?

We went through all of this already on the last thread about AI/*A... AI screwed up, LH took advantage of relaxed bilaterals, there is no trade war coming, AI's reliability is far superior to many *A airlines, etc. etc.

I thought Devesh and I had made it clear enough already? Do we really need to rehash it again?
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:30 pm

If AI had a semi-competent management they would have made every alliance bend over for their entry into their alliance.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting manny (Reply 21):
If AI had a semi-competent management they would have made every alliance bend over for their entry into their alliance.

We went over this as well. Air India doesn't have any management. Well, I mean, there is management, but they have no control over the carrier so its as good as not being there.

The corrupt government officials at MoCA have ensured control of even the most minute details so that every rupee can be squeezed out of the carrier.

[Edited 2012-10-09 14:32:25]
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aloges
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 20):
the kind of unwarranted bashing AI receives every time it is brought up in conversation

Unwarranted bashing... not exactly. I've been following this saga for years, as have many others. It is not bashing, it is stating the obvious.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:49 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 23):
Unwarranted bashing... not exactly. I've been following this saga for years, as have many others. It is not bashing, it is stating the obvious.

I've been following this for years as well...

Please understand that this "obvious" you speak of is not so obvious. There is no such thing as obvious in India. The backstory to this issue is very different than it may seem.
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goacom
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:10 pm

Aeroblogger sounds like a paid shill for AI or is a public union employee. Besides being strangely fanatically supportive of AI (he actually rationalized the illegal pilots strike that grounded most of its international operations!), he also seems to engage in rather excessive bashing of India's private airlines, by making unsubstantiated claims that they engage in money laundering. Aeroblogger, if you think AI is the greatest airline since the advent of aviation, great for you, lol! Perhaps you know something that most US blue chip corporates who have restricted their employees from AI and Kingfisher, don't know.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:14 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 22):
We went over this as well. Air India doesn't have any management. Well, I mean, there is management, but they have no control over the carrier so its as good as not being there.

The corrupt government officials at MoCA have ensured control of even the most minute details so that every rupee can be squeezed out of the carrier.

LOL, and you want an international airline alliance to accept an airline whose management has no control over its operations? I think you just answered your own question.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:26 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 20):
The "I flew AI once 5 years ago but know everything about it" posts:

Before I continue, let me preface this by saying that I read your blog and am an avid fan, and respect you a lot as a writer. But I wholly disagree with you that AI is a reputable carrier. Despite the saga, the airline truly is an embarrassment.

I used to defend AI (and I have flown them plenty across all classes, both pre-and-post rebranding) and I was hopeful of their *A entry until a customer service disaster experience this past summer involving my Mum has left me feeling irate and hopeless about any future for this airline. It only takes one poor impression before you realize that its all talking through the side of the mouth and AI has hardly budged from its lowest points, if not sunk even lower.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:29 pm

Quoting goacom (Reply 25):
Aeroblogger sounds like a paid shill for AI or is a public union employee.

AI is not organized enough to be buying shills. And I am self-employed - no unions for me  
Quoting goacom (Reply 25):
Besides being strangely fanatically supportive of AI (he actually rationalized the illegal pilots strike that grounded most of its international operations!)

This sentence contradicts itself. I supported AI getting grounded by strikes, but I am fanatically supportive of the carrier? That makes a lot of sense...

I realize that you seem to hate unions with a passion, but when the airline is breaking contracts and not delaying salaries, it really isn't hard to justify a strike...

Quoting goacom (Reply 25):
he also seems to engage in rather excessive bashing of India's private airlines, by making unsubstantiated claims that they engage in money laundering.

Anybody who understands the system of governance in India understands the corruption involved. I have nothing against private airlines - indeed, I have historically been a big proponent of SG's business model and route network - but that doesn't mean I won't call a spade a spade.

Despite the fact that I like way SG is managed, I still condemned the fact that the current owners procured the carrier from a $100,000,000 bribery scam.

Quoting goacom (Reply 25):
Aeroblogger, if you think AI is the greatest airline since the advent of aviation, great for you, lol!

AI is most certainly not the greatest airline since the advent of aviation in any shape or form today. It could be argued that this was the case many, many years ago, but not for a long time...

AI deals with chronic mismanagement and serious corruption, both of which are symptomatic of larger problems which can be found in the Government of India. AI's route network is rationalized poorly, the revenue management systems are archaic, FTDL restrictions are ignored routinely, labor issues are serious and exacerbated, and the carrier is very slow to react to changing market conditions for a variety of reasons, which essentially ensures that it will be uncompetitive for the foreseeable future.

These are all things which can be fairly and objectively criticized about Air India.

On the other hand, issues which passengers face, like reliability and product, aren't really issues. AI's reliability is in line with its competitors worldwide. Its product is superior to every airline in India except 9W FS, which barely exists any more. Internationally, AI's product is certainly in line with competitors.

I don't have a problem with criticizing AI - there are plenty of opportunities to do so. The issue is when people such as yourself jump to judgements based on incomplete, out of date information.
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:31 pm

Sorry, Aeroblogger, I last flew on AI round trip just under 2 years ago and in both instances they gave me and my family terrible service. Of course, this was one in AI's sterling record in providing unreliable service over the past 20 years or so. In my experience two years go, they unloaded all the baggage of my entire family so that they could load up the aircraft with fee based excess baggage of other customers. Upon arrival, they refused to compensate me for the delayed baggage, refused to deliver the baggage to my home, forced me to come to the airport to pick up the baggage and refused to compensate me for the 60km taxi ride to pick up my baggage. In India, a 60km ride can take as much as two hours. On my return leg, they refused to give me proper departure time and kept postponing the stated departure time, with no proper explanation which led to me missmy connection flight. In both cases, I was travelling with two infants which made the experience all the more grueling. Just last month, my in-laws had the privilege of experiencing AI's legendary non service with AI's unreliable service due to mechanical issues (or so they claim). I don't like my in-laws very much, but not that much that I would ever recommend that they fly AI again. As I have said, many blue chip companies in the US have issued directives to their travel departments recommending that their employees NOT fly on AI. Bottom line, AI is a third rate airline that should not even exist. It is a plaything of the corrupt politicians and their corrupt vote banks - the public sector unions .

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 20):
I don't know why I even bother responding... This thread epitomizes exactly the kind of unwarranted bashing AI receives every time it is brought up in conversation...


The "I flew AI once 5 years ago but know everything about it" posts:


[Edited 2012-10-09 15:36:24]
 
AA94
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:32 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 20):

With all due respect, comments like the ones that Minister Singh has made are exactly why AI gets the reputation that it has.

*A looks unfavorably on AI because of the vey fact that the GoI is in control of the airline. They impose bureaucratic red tape upon the company that threatens to throw it into a frenzy at a moment's notice.

AI has a reputation for bad customer service and poor reliability. Whether that is a product of management 5, 10, or 15 years ago, AI has to prove that it is up to *A expectations before it can expect to be admitted. Regardless of how long ago you say those problems existed, they are what stick out in people's minds when they think of AI. It is up to AI and the GoI to change their reputation.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
If AI had done it's homework and if the Indian Givernment did not wrap that carrier in red tape, the'd be a member now.

  
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:37 pm

It seems that Star doesn't want to have AI as a member why does AI keeps whining about joining?
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:39 pm

Quoting goacom (Reply 26):

LOL, and you want an international airline alliance to accept an airline whose management has no control over its operations? I think you just answered your own question.

If it benefits the alliance, I don't see why not. LH knew the situation at AI when the invitation was issued...

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 27):

Before I continue, let me preface this by saying that I read your blog and am an avid fan, and respect you a lot as a writer. But I wholly disagree with you that AI is a reputable carrier. Despite the saga, the airline truly is an embarrassment.

I used to defend AI (and I have flown them plenty across all classes, both pre-and-post rebranding) and I was hopeful of their *A entry until a customer service disaster experience this past summer involving my Mum has left me feeling irate and hopeless about any future for this airline. It only takes one poor impression before you realize that its all talking through the side of the mouth and AI has hardly budged from its lowest points, if not sunk even lower.

Drop me a PM or an email about the incident - let me see if I can do something...

AI definitely has all kinds of contingency issues which are to be rectified in the current restructuring plan... Dealing with IRROPS is still a headache to put it mildly... AI is not alone to face these problems - as anyone who dealt with IRROPS with pre-merger Continental can attest to, rebookings were a nightmare. And AI's reliability is far better than CO's was. The difference is that US-based carriers throw miles and food vouchers and hotel rooms at you to mollify the passengers, while AI does nothing. If you don't know the right person to talk to, it's definitely not a fun experience...

Also, keep in mind that whatever your mother went through this year, it's nothing compared to the 32 hour delay I faced in 2004, where I slept on a chair next to the gate, ate fast food out of my pocket, got no information, and recieved no compensation. AI has improved leaps and bounds over the years - they haven't had one of these incidents in years now...
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goacom
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:42 pm

Quoting AA94 (Reply 30):
AI has a reputation for bad customer service and poor reliability. Whether that is a product of management 5, 10, or 15 years ago, AI has to prove that it is up to *A expectations before it can expect to be admitted. Regardless of how long ago you say those problems existed, they are what stick out in people's minds when they think of AI. It is up to AI and the GoI to change their reputation.

With the GOI in charge and with its public union vote bank running it (or running to the bank!), no fundamental change can be expected, no matter how good the "intentions" of its management and aeroblogger are!
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:50 pm

Quoting AA94 (Reply 30):

With all due respect, comments like the ones that Minister Singh has made are exactly why AI gets the reputation that it has.

*A looks unfavorably on AI because of the vey fact that the GoI is in control of the airline. They impose bureaucratic red tape upon the company that threatens to throw it into a frenzy at a moment's notice.

I agree completely with you. But LH knew this was the case when they invited AI...


I don't know how closely you've followed the AI/*A saga, but let me give you some backstory.

LH/*A invited AI to curry favor with the Government of India.
Since LH/SQ were AI's partners, GoI relaxed bilateral agreements over the years
Since LX/OS were AI's partners, GoI ignored the fact that their services were illegal as per the bilaterals signed between India and Switzerland/Austria.
AI invested millions of dollars into the Star Alliance entry. There were many delays due to technical snags and a merger between AI/IC in the middle of the integration process. Last year, AI finally completed *A requirements, by the (delayed) date stipulated by Star Alliance, but the application was suspended because AI refused to allow 9W into the alliance as well.

While AI not getting into *A is certainly their own fault due to the delays, LH/*A also took advantage of AI/GoI knowing fully well that the airline wouldn't make it. And when AI did make it, they closed the door. Certainly not white-as-lily behavior.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 30):

AI has a reputation for bad customer service and poor reliability. Whether that is a product of management 5, 10, or 15 years ago, AI has to prove that it is up to *A expectations before it can expect to be admitted.

AI was not rejected from *A because of its reputation. It was rejected because of political games. AI's reputation has only improved since it was invited by LH - not to say that it is good by any standard, but LH knew what it was getting into...

Quoting AA94 (Reply 30):
Regardless of how long ago you say those problems existed, they are what stick out in people's minds when they think of AI. It is up to AI and the GoI to change their reputation.

AI's reputation is in tatters, and it needs to be fixed. I don't think anybody disagrees with that. But I respectfully submit that it's not relevant to the discussion at hand...

Quoting JAL (Reply 31):
It seems that Star doesn't want to have AI as a member why does AI keeps whining about joining?

AI has spent a ton of money on integration with Star Alliance. It is a very expensive prospect to do this all over again with a new alliance, especially considering the inefficiency of the Indian Government.

I personally think that AI should have jumped on that SkyTeam offer when it was made, but I'm not the Minister of Civil Aviation  
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goacom
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:02 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 32):
The difference is that US-based carriers throw miles and food vouchers and hotel rooms at you to mollify the passengers, while AI does nothing. If you don't know the right person to talk to, it's definitely not a fun experience...

No one is expecting perfection, but when problems occur, we expect that the airline will make an effort to ameliorate the situation. That is not the case with AI. Why does one have to "know someone" to get the right treatment? This is exactly why AI's reputation is in the gutter.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:06 pm

Quoting goacom (Reply 35):
No one is expecting perfection, but when problems occur, we expect that the airline will make an effort to ameliorate the situation. That is not the case with AI. Why does one have to "know someone" to get the right treatment? This is exactly why AI's reputation is in the gutter.

I agree completely. Ground service is the single largest blot on Air India's service.

And sadly, it isn't included in the restructuring plan, because ground services are covered by Singapore Air Terminal Services, a contractor which was appointed by MoCA despite the fact that Air India did a better and cheaper job of covering its own ground services. I guess the cheque was made out for the right amount.

[Edited 2012-10-09 16:06:54]
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usflyer msp
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:06 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 20):
We went through all of this already on the last thread about AI/*A... AI screwed up, LH took advantage of relaxed bilaterals, there is no trade war coming, AI's reliability is far superior to many *A airlines, etc. etc.

Having flown AI a few times, I would say that AI is safe and has great inflight service. However, their Achilles Heel is their generally abysmal ground service, especially if something irregular like a serious delay or cancellation occurs. Their ground staff have not been empowered to positively and proactively provide service recovery to their passengers. That is why you see so many videos and stories of AI passengers in near-riots and AI managers being attacked by hordes of angry passengers after they have been disserviced. If they could fix this problem they would actually be a 4 or 5 star carrier.
 
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:08 pm

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 37):
Having flown AI a few times, I would say that AI is safe and has great inflight service. However, their Achilles Heel is their generally abysmal ground service, especially if something irregular like a serious delay or cancellation occurs. Their ground staff have not been empowered to positively and proactively provide service recovery to their passengers. That is why you see so many videos and stories of AI passengers in near-riots and AI managers being attacked by hordes of angry passengers after they have been disserviced. If they could fix this problem they would actually be a 4 or 5 star carrier.

We're on the same page  
Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 36):
I agree completely. Ground service is the single largest blot on Air India's service.

And sadly, it isn't included in the restructuring plan, because ground services are covered by Singapore Air Terminal Services, a contractor which was appointed by MoCA despite the fact that Air India did a better and cheaper job of covering its own ground services. I guess the cheque was made out for the right amount.
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JOYA380B747
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:33 am

Any AI related thread automatically becomes one of the most interesting read in the Forum

Also, the thread posts tend to be so uniquely representative of their authors....   
If it wasn't for AI and those money mongers sitting in the parliament, 9W would have been as big as SQ...:(
 
goacom
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:57 am

I think we are all on agreement with this. Their in-flight service is usually pretty good. The problem is the before and after part!

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 38):
Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 37):
Having flown AI a few times, I would say that AI is safe and has great inflight service. However, their Achilles Heel is their generally abysmal ground service, especially if something irregular like a serious delay or cancellation occurs. Their ground staff have not been empowered to positively and proactively provide service recovery to their passengers. That is why you see so many videos and stories of AI passengers in near-riots and AI managers being attacked by hordes of angry passengers after they have been disserviced. If they could fix this problem they would actually be a 4 or 5 star carrier.

We're on the same page  
Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 36):
I agree completely. Ground service is the single largest blot on Air India's service.
 
BLRAviation
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 3):
Oh, for Pete's sake! What if LH doesn't oblige, will they be forced to cut services to India?

If there was a quid pro quo arrangement with the ministry under which they got additional services, then the simple answer is YES. Similarly if LH ownership of LX and OS was in contravention of existing ASA's and overlooked.

Quoting Nimish (Reply 5):
Given the dynamics and changes in the region (around EY/ QR/ EK), I think it would be really foolish of *A/LH to let go of this opportunity to let both 9W and AI in.

Nimish, actually, instead of AI going with bowl in hand to *A, OW will want them much more and will possibly induct AI on much better terms. The ministry can hold up approving 9W application to enter *A till then.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 7):
Does India really want their bilateral rights with Europe scrutinized at this economic juncture? They are threatening a trade war. Do the people of India really want that?

I think you have the power equation backwards. These airlines want access to India. India is the third largest geography for LH. Take the time to read the CAG report on how PP gave away bilaterals https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1QkRa2q7-CqRlh1SnBzTDU4ZVE focus on 6th freedom traffic. LH, OS, CX, EY, KL are very dependent.
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goacom
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:08 am

Not really, the airline business is just a small component of overall trade. Furthermore, Germany has the power of the EU to fall on, if India were so foolish as to threaten a global trade war just to prop up AI's bid. Likewise, the Indian croporates would not go for this kind of action.

Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 42):
I think you have the power equation backwards. These airlines want access to India. India is the third largest geography for LH. Take the time to read the CAG report on how PP gave away bilaterals https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1QkRa2q7-CqRlh1SnBzTDU4ZVE focus on 6th freedom traffic. LH, OS, CX, EY, KL are very dependent.
 
BLRAviation
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:07 am

Quoting goacom (Reply 43):
Not really, the airline business is just a small component of overall trade. Furthermore, Germany has the power of the EU to fall on, if India were so foolish as to threaten a global trade war just to prop up AI's bid. Likewise, the Indian croporates would not go for this kind of action.

Apologies in advance, and this is meant more in general, not to you, but ......... Oh Puh-lease!!!!

No country is going to undertake a trade war over ASAs. The statement by the minister is public posturing. The opportunities are much much more than that. The bilateral trade between India and Germany is close to 20 Billion Euros. With the Eurozone in the tank, do you think Germany is going to risk that over a few flights being cut back for LH? I doubt it. Both Merket and Cameron came with hat in hand to pitch for the Eurofighter.

I have served as Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee of the Chamber of Commerce for a few years, and have been active in Chambers for over 20 years. So I can speak with confidence when I request, do not think less of India and its economic power today. Market access has its own power. India is no more the country which goes around hat in hand.

Any govt can hinder or promote any business with policy decisions which are near impossible to challenge. The Ministry's lack of action (neither approve nor disapprove) on LH's A380 request is an example how the ministry can "finger" any airline.

Keep in mind the upcoming elections. Previously it was 2014, now with UPA2 on shaky ground, elections could be as early as 2013. Every political party needs money, and undeclared "black" money is more desired due to a lack of traceability. So as long as carriers rely on "suitcase technology", the unbridled granting of bilateral capacity will continue.

However I think A.netters have missed this quote by the minister reported by the Economic Times
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...-alliance/articleshow/16736586.cms

Quote:
"I believe a lot of facilities were given to the airline (Lufthansa) so that it would mentor Air India to join Star Alliance. They were given a lot of flights, it was made almost open skies for them. Now we are going to talk to Lufthansa to adhere to the plan we had," Singh said.

The CAG report link I referred to here, specifically criticised the granting of bilaterals during the time of Patel's ministership. The statement of Ajit Singh quoted above refers to the same time frame i.e. when PP was minister. So is Ajit Singh indirectly confirming the CAG criticism of bilaterals? If yes, we should push for action to be take on PP.
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BLRAviation
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:18 am

Quoting JOYA380B747 (Reply 40):
Any AI related thread automatically becomes one of the most interesting read in the Forum
Also, the thread posts tend to be so uniquely representative of their authors....

  but do take down the duplicate posts.

But what does surprise me, especially on a "enlightened" forum like A.net, is why does any conversation of AI and Star alliance always degenerate in to "AI is bad and should not be allowed in to *A". Even when the focus of the news report triggering the thread is completely different. I do believe we are not so uni-dimensional in our knowledge and hence our views.

Two related reports, more comprehensive than the Reuters report are from FirstPost http://www.firstpost.com/business/go...ai-star-alliance-issue-484750.html and from The Economic Times http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...-alliance/articleshow/16736586.cms (yes I know their rep).

What I gather from both these reports is that the Minister says, "we gave LH special favours in return for them mentoring entry of AI into *A. Now we want LH to live up to the terms of that agreement" (in this case an implied agreement).

In any standard contract, if one party cannot perform its part of the agreement, it is naturally expected that they return any benefits, goodwill, monies, etc. that was given to them as part of the quid pro quo of the contract.

What are our thoughts on this focus? and please, let us not re-focus on whether AI deserves to be in *A or not.
I am on Twitter @BLRAviation
 
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lightsaber
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:01 am

Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 42):
I think you have the power equation backwards. These airlines want access to India. India is the third largest geography for LH.

Then we will have to agree to disagree. While LH wants access to India, at what cost?

Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 45):
In any standard contract, if one party cannot perform its part of the agreement, it is naturally expected that they return any benefits, goodwill, monies, etc. that was given to them as part of the quid pro quo of the contract.

What contract? In general the ASA is part of a larger bilateral that cannot have parts rolled back but could have the entire amendment rolled back with proper notice. I would be really surprised if India had received no benefits in return. I've yet to see a bilateral modification that didn't benefit both parities.



Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 44):
India is no more the country which goes around hat in hand.

Agreed. That isn't the issue. The issue is the legalities. India isn't being put down, AI is being mis-managed.

But this is a business decision. One that shouldn't involve a government.

Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 44):
The Ministry's lack of action (neither approve nor disapprove) on LH's A380 request is an example how the ministry can "finger" any airline.

I was one who didn't have a problem with that. The India bilaterals clearly limit to a 747 and 400 seats per aircraft. India didn't do any wrong in not extending air service agreements for free. That was one argument where I was legally on India's side. I don't fully understand the decision, but I respect they had no legal reason to let in any aircraft larger than a 747 as that has been in India's ASAs for decades.

AI is moot now anyway for *A. 9W is star alliances preferred candidate for India. Unless something appears in writing allowing multiple airlines in one alliance, 9W will go forward alone. That is a commercial decision. Not something a government should be meddling with.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:04 am

Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 45):
In any standard contract, if one party cannot perform its part of the agreement, it is naturally expected that they return any benefits, goodwill, monies, etc. that was given to them as part of the quid pro quo of the contract.

I wonder if part of the quid pro quo involved "transfer of a suitcase to PP from LH" that can not be returned if GOI were to take away any of the existing benefits to LH.

I wonder if the current minister is just posturing when he makes a case for AI joining Star, but all along he is waiting for a suitcase from LH/9W. Once the suitcase is delivered, he will accept denial of entry to AI and allow 9W to join Star, along with A380 rights to LH/EK(another suitcase from EK).
 
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sturmovik
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:07 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 7):
What is in it for LH?
Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 15):

If the government really wanted them in Star and I was LH I would say "Alright we'll sponsor you, as long as we can get our A380s flights to India."
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...onomy/logistics/article3981680.ece

Those ducks seems to be lining up..
'What's it doing now?'
 
gauravpai
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:09 am

Everytime the word AI comes on the forum people jump to what a bad airline they are.
quite the contrary i say.
yes they maybe caught in redtape,their on ground services maybe a doubtful issue but one can only commend their inflight service hospitality good meals full meals i might add even on a 50 minute flight and not a bag of peanuts thrown at you.
their inflight entertainment is excellent and they are quite improving on the schedules now that the strikes are over on international routes. so dont just bash AI as i would pick them anyday over the US carriers offering pathetic service,((yes i am entitled to my opinion)) but its true

now only if the GOI stopped meddling and a good adminstration in place,i dont see why AI cant be an asset to any alliance star,ow or st as they have a great regional network only next to 9w.
Fly on them currently and then comment,flew on the 787 last week from Delhi to Chennai and it actually was a dream, so if they can keep up the good work, rest of the world can speculate but AI is going to join the alliance for sure.


Quoting goacom (Reply 43):
Not really, the airline business is just a small component of overall trade. Furthermore, Germany has the power of the EU to fall on, if India were so foolish as to threaten a global trade war just to prop up AI's bid. Likewise, the Indian croporates would not go for this kind of action.
no one is having a trade war and By Gosh if you underestimate the upcoming power of the indian market in general do so at your own peril.

Quoting BLRAviation (Reply 44):
Not really, the airline business is just a small component of overall trade. Furthermore, Germany has the power of the EU to fall on, if India were so foolish as to threaten a global trade war just to prop up AI's bid. Likewise, the Indian croporates would not go for this kind of action

India dont need to threaten, straining ties with India in this kind of world economy is a threat to all countries concerned inc india

Quoting AA94 (Reply 30):
In my experience two years go, they unloaded all the baggage of my entire family so that they could load up the aircraft with fee based excess baggage of other customers. Upon arrival, they refused to compensate me for the delayed baggage, refused to deliver the baggage to my home, forced me to come to the airport to pick up the baggage

According to your post i have travelled twice once on LH783 FRA BKK KUL and my bags never reached KUL and i had to wait a whole three days till the next flight arrived no explanations and no money just sorry it happens, the second LH 756 BOM FRA the bags never reached frankfurt and though they came 24 hrs later it happens . So do we brand LH rubbish?? because i certainly love the professianalism and service of lufthansa.
anyway, goodluck to AI and hope to see them in STAR soon.Also hope to see their A 380s in India
cheers
DR GAURAV PAI
 
Nimish
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RE: AI To Ask LH For Help In Joining Star Alliance

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:19 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 15):

If the government really wanted them in Star and I was LH I would say "Alright we'll sponsor you, as long as we can get our A380s flights to India." It will be interesting to see if the gov't plays with LH a little bit. They aren't going to want to lose their India routes.

FYI - the same minister made statements yesterday that he would be amenable to remove the aircraft type limitation entirely. Clearly he's laying out his cards:

- *A can induct both AI and 9W (Something they wanted)
- 380 can be allowed
- AI/ MoCA want AI to enter the *A. This was a key prerequisite for AI's "turnaround plan" - where they had promised to be good and make some money for a change. They have already spent the approx $10m membership fees, and many more millions of dollars on making the IT changes needed. At this moment, they can join *A without any further financial burden, or start talking to OW/ST and spend another 10-20million there.
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