ota1
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AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:35 am

According to the following report Air India and Star Alliance have resumed membership talks. In fact Mark Schwab (CEO of Star) will meet AI's top management later this month. AI's membership application had been suspended last year due to failure to comply with the alliance's membership requirements and AI's unwillingness to accept another Indian carrier (Jet Airways) in Star.
According to the report AI's stance on this has now changed. AI would be will to welcome another Indian member, but wants to be the first Indian carrier to join the alliance.

See here: Economic Times
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:32 am

I'm furious. Why did AI give in? They were in a better position than *A, why are they agreeing to let 9W in now?

It's also interesting to note the comment re why AI wasn't accepted last year - they fulfilled all joining requirements except for allowing 9W in as well, which is why they were suspended. It had nothing to do with not fulfilling requirements.

*A decided to play hardball, and they should pay for it. AI should not be so helpless that they go running to *A anyway even after getting insulted.

(and for those unaware of my background, I'm a massive fan of AI AND *A, so I'm happy that they might actually join. I'm just annoyed that *A managed to get the upper hand even when they were dealing with the flag carrier of the greatest country in the world.)

[Edited 2012-03-06 22:33:36]
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abrelosojos
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:36 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):
I'm furious. Why did AI give in? They were in a better position than *A, why are they agreeing to let 9W in now?

= Without going into details I cannot share, AI has the upper hand in this all along. Trust me, Star is doing all it can to have AI join.

Saludos,
A.
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:39 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):
It's also interesting to note the comment re why AI wasn't accepted last year - they fulfilled all joining requirements except for allowing 9W in as well, which is why they were suspended. It had nothing to do with not fulfilling requirements.

No, it had everything to do with fulfilling requirements, as you wrote. Letting 9W in was a requirement.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:07 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):
It's also interesting to note the comment re why AI wasn't accepted last year - they fulfilled all joining requirements except for allowing 9W in as well, which is why they were suspended. It had nothing to do with not fulfilling requirements.

That comment has come from someone at AI. This is the same position that Air India have always maintained since last year. On the other hand, *A have always maintained that the agreed conditions were not met.

Since both parties are bound by confidentiality agreements those of us on the outside have no way of knowing whether the agreed conditions were actually met or not.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:42 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 2):
Without going into details I cannot share, AI has the upper hand in this all along. Trust me, Star is doing all it can to have AI join.

Of course they have the upper hand, but it appears they're all but giving it away by running to *A... If *A was doing all it could to have AI join, AI would have been approved back in July last year...
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TeamintheSky
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:15 am

Well good for AI and *A. I know people will be gnashing their teeth about this, but I hope it works out for them. However, I think it will be highly uncompetitive the both AI and 9W join the same alliance. With IT's woes, you are looking at one alliance being represented in India.

This cannot be good for the shred of hope I held that 9W would join SkyTeam. My guess is that SkyTeam will now target someone like Indigo.
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COEWR787
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:42 pm

It should be noted that Air India's and Jet Airways' and financial woes are only slightly less severe than Kingfisher's, and of course Air India being a government backed and financed outfit which still cannot seem to work its way out of a wet brown-paper bag who knows what will eventually happen when the realities of things hit the fan. Afterall even GoI does not have infinite financial resources to sink into a black hole.  

Frankly for the good of the aviation industry in India, Air India really needs to be truly divested. But we all know how likely that is.

So does anyone outside the folks who are covered by confidentiality know the real reason that AI was put on hold the last time around? Was it non-compliance of AI's PIS and reservation system? Or was it something else?
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:47 pm

Quoting COEWR787 (Reply 7):

So does anyone outside the folks who are covered by confidentiality know the real reason that AI was put on hold the last time around? Was it non-compliance of AI's PIS and reservation system? Or was it something else?

No. There was confirmation that AI's IT systems all met requirements from both AI and Star Alliance. I vaguely remember that *A said that some "misc. requirements" were not met. I assume that means that AI not accepting 9W's entry into *A being that requirement, but no way to be certain obviously...
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bralo20
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:00 pm

Good for AI and certainly good for 9W too. 9W always stated that *A was their first (and only?) choice but thanks to AI it didn't happen (yet). Hopefully both airlines will join soon.
 
wolbo
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:04 pm

Will this mean that LH can fly the A380 to India?
 
N1120A
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:46 pm

Will be nice to see the *A logo on AI's "rustbuckets"  

(If people don't get that reference, I know I'm old)
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pnd100
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:38 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):
I'm furious. Why did AI give in? They were in a better position than *A, why are they agreeing to let 9W in now?

It's also interesting to note the comment re why AI wasn't accepted last year - they fulfilled all joining requirements except for allowing 9W in as well, which is why they were suspended. It had nothing to do with not fulfilling requirements.

*A decided to play hardball, and they should pay for it. AI should not be so helpless that they go running to *A anyway even after getting insulted.

(and for those unaware of my background, I'm a massive fan of AI AND *A, so I'm happy that they might actually join. I'm just annoyed that *A managed to get the upper hand even when they were dealing with the flag carrier of the greatest country in the world.)

With due respect aeroblogger, AI was one of the great airlines of the world in the 20th century but unfortunately for all concerned they have remained there. The interference by the government of India, politics & mismanagement have led this once proud airline into a sorry situation. I respect your loyalty to this airline but it is the loyalty of the customer that AI should be after. Don't get me wrong, I also wish that AI will rebound but it would be a fallacy to suggest that this is today a world-class airline. There is a lot of work to be done by AI before they can meet the standards required of any alliance. Paramount among the issues is the attitude of staff. Very few people prefer to fly AI over other carriers. Unless you obtain the loyalty of customers, any airline is doomed. This is business, perceived insults or misconceptions should not hamper either side from arriving at a mutually beneficial solution.

Quoting TeamInTheSky (Reply 6):
Well good for AI and *A. I know people will be gnashing their teeth about this, but I hope it works out for them. However, I think it will be highly uncompetitive the both AI and 9W join the same alliance. With AND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT's woes, you are looking at one alliance being represented in India.

Even if Kingfisher does survive, having 2 of India's full service carriers in the same alliance would be uncompetitive to the flying public of India in my opinion. Having said that if Star Alliance can pull off this coup then that is points for them. Having 2 carriers from the same country, especially one with a market like India, is neither unprecedented nor unforseeable. Personally I would like to see 9W go with SkyTeam as it seems to be a better fit. We'll see
 
777jaah
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:41 pm

Really?? Not again!!!! I thought that show was cancelled last season.......I guess LH really needs to let AI into the alliance, and is doing all what it can, despite AI's effort not to, to make them a member.
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pnd100
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:02 pm

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 13):

Really?? Not again!!!! I thought that show was cancelled last season.......I guess LH really needs to let AI into the alliance, and is doing all what it can, despite AI's effort not to, to make them a member.

LOL. Well the Indian market both in terms of current status & potential growth will continue to generate a lot of excitement & interest from airlines worldwide. I do not blame Star Alliance for trying this again. If true that AI did not meet the requirements, that does not have to be a permanent situation. Due to the size of India's population it is not at all difficult to implement sweeping changes if the political will & business case is there. An example of this would be the new T3 at DEL. Yes there were hiccups like there can be with any large project (see 787, T5 @ LHR, etc) but the staff & environment is a complete turnaround from the old days at IGIA. In India there are always 100 people ready, willing & able to take your position if you are removed from it. The problem has historically been that those who are incompetent are not removed because it benefits someone higher to keep the status quo.

[Edited 2012-03-07 14:03:40]
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:29 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Will be nice to see the *A logo on AI's "rustbuckets"

Honestly, you are getting a bit old....that "rustbuckets" reference was valid about 4-5 years ago....since then, all the planes that a.nutters like you loved to call rustbuckets are gone from the fleet.....the current AI fleet is relatively new and shiny, except for the few remaining 744's......you really need to update yourself before making such comments.....
 
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:34 am

Quoting COEWR787 (Reply 7):
Was it non-compliance of AI's PIS and reservation system?

Yes, IT was able to find some "IT" workers who were able to bring their "IT" systems up to snuff. Before you ask, they're doing just fine with their call centers too.

Quoting wolbo (Reply 10):
Will this mean that LH can fly the A380 to India?

That's the real end game.
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N1120A
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:47 am

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 15):
Honestly, you are getting a bit old....that "rustbuckets" reference was valid about 4-5 years ago....since then, all the planes that a.nutters like you loved to call rustbuckets are gone from the fleet.....the current AI fleet is relatively new and shiny, except for the few remaining 744's......you really need to update yourself before making such comments.....

LOL. You took that seriously. Sorry. It was meant to poke fun at our little "rustbucket" incident from many years ago. Remember that the "rustbuckets" were actually exceptionally maintained UA 772ERs.
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aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:51 am

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 12):

With due respect aeroblogger, AI was one of the great airlines of the world in the 20th century but unfortunately for all concerned they have remained there. The interference by the government of India, politics & mismanagement have led this once proud airline into a sorry situation.

Can't really disagree there....

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 12):

I respect your loyalty to this airline but it is the loyalty of the customer that AI should be after. Don't get me wrong, I also wish that AI will rebound but it would be a fallacy to suggest that this is today a world-class airline.

I am a customer as well as a blogger, and I will tell you that Air India does have the loyalty of pretty much everyone who has flown them recently - they are truly a world-class airline today. When you compare them to the likes of Lufthansa, Air France, etc. - all considered world class - Air India beats them hands down on product and price. 100% of the time. Their problem is perception, not the actual airline. The product is very good, reliability is average for the Indian industry, and improving rapidly. I don't think that calling it the best airline in India would be an understatement.

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 12):

There is a lot of work to be done by AI before they can meet the standards required of any alliance. Paramount among the issues is the attitude of staff. Very few people prefer to fly AI over other carriers. Unless you obtain the loyalty of customers, any airline is doomed. This is business, perceived insults or misconceptions should not hamper either side from arriving at a mutually beneficial solution.

I agree completely
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Cyanide72
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:12 am

Quoting wolbo (Reply 10):
Will this mean that LH can fly the A380 to India?

Pretty much what I wanted to know too. Will be interesting to see where this leads to.
 
jfk777
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:16 pm

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 12):
I also wish that AI will rebound but it would be a fallacy to suggest that this is today a world-class airline. There is a lot of work to be done by AI before they can meet the standards required of any alliance. Paramount among the issues is the attitude of staff. Very few people prefer to fly AI over other carriers. Unless you obtain the loyalty of customers, any airline is doomed. This is business, perceived insults or misconceptions should not hamper either side from arriving at a mutually beneficial solution.

Any "world class" airlline is run as a private enterrrise even if its state owned or paritaly state owned( Tamesk Holding in SIA). Air India is a government program to "employ" Indians and too many are working there. The Indian Government goes to ridiculous lengths to pay AI's debts and in y opinion going after Kingfisher to shut it down by freezing its bank acounts in the name of " Tax Colections".
 
pnd100
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:34 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 20):
Any "world class" airlline is run as a private enterrrise even if its state owned or paritaly state owned( Tamesk Holding in SIA). Air India is a government program to "employ" Indians and too many are working there. The Indian Government goes to ridiculous lengths to pay AI's debts and in y opinion going after Kingfisher to shut it down by freezing its bank acounts in the name of " Tax Colections".

I agree with you 100% jfk777. The manner in which the airline is run ranges from very ineffecient to criminal. The state control of AI does not even benefit the greater good of the Indian people. I'm not really sure where the resistance lies in privatizing AI but it does. Forget privatization, re-structuring the management is still asking a lot. If the management of AI could show a tenth of the enthusiasm of aeroblogger it would help but they do not care because their own livelihoods are secure.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 18):
I am a customer as well as a blogger, and I will tell you that Air India does have the loyalty of pretty much everyone who has flown them recently - they are truly a world-class airline today. When you compare them to the likes of Lufthansa, Air France, etc. - all considered world class - Air India beats them hands down on product and price. 100% of the time. Their problem is perception, not the actual airline. The product is very good, reliability is average for the Indian industry, and improving rapidly. I don't think that calling it the best airline in India would be an understatement

Now aeroblogger I accept your premise that perhaps AI is not as bad as it's reputation & that change is possible. As I said, due it's population many things are possible in India. It is true that I have not actually flown with them for some time. However based on my recent interactions with AI in Canada, Germany & India I do not see your picture of AI as being the case.

For example, we never ruled AI completely when deciding which airline to fly to India. They were always given a fair chance to earn our business each of the last 5 years. Each time their service failed to impress us & they were eliminated early. Everything from their website to call centre to staff. If they can't even win our business in the first place, how will they impress us with their product? The first place that improvement should have come to is the customer facing sections. Am I correct?
 
Viscount724
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:39 pm

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 12):
AI was one of the great airlines of the world in the 20th century

That's going too far. They were heavily overstaffed considering their small fleet and very inefficient, like many government-owned carriers..
 
pnd100
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:55 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 22):
That's going too far. They were heavily overstaffed considering their small fleet and very inefficient, like many government-owned carriers..

Great in terms of being a pioneer for civil aviation in Asia. We have to remember that Asia in the 1950s was not what it is today. Many regions were either still colonized or freshly emerging from colonialism. For example in 1962 AI became the world's first all-jet airline which was quite an accomplishment from an airline from India at that point in time. During the 1960s & 1970s they flew to points that very few ordinary Indians could fly to. There was a mystique about them in India much the same way that there was about Pan Am. That was my point. Today there are very few like aeroblogger who associate AI with pride in India. There is no doubt that back then (and even today) they were bloated in staff but AI was an immediately recognizable entity that Indians were proud of.
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:22 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
LOL. You took that seriously. Sorry. It was meant to poke fun at our little "rustbucket" incident from many years ago. Remember that the "rustbuckets" were actually exceptionally maintained UA 772ERs.

Ah, well, maybe I did.....it's just that quite a few on a.net don't realise that things have changed on that front for AI....

AI always complained that they were restrained by an old, ageing fleet.....as though a new fleet would change things drastically for them....well, now they have relatively new planes but the change doesn't seem to be happening.....the problems really seem to be on multiple fronts....
 
aa757first
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):
I'm furious. Why did AI give in? They were in a better position than *A, why are they agreeing to let 9W in now?

Star Alliance probably has the upper hand here. Both AI and 9W want to join Star and no other alliance have any carriers in India. There's no disadvantage until SkyTeam or One World signs someone else up.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):
(and for those unaware of my background, I'm a massive fan of AI AND *A, so I'm happy that they might actually join. I'm just annoyed that *A managed to get the upper hand even when they were dealing with the flag carrier of the greatest country in the world.)

Jet Airways is probably a more valuable partner in India anyway.

Quoting COEWR787 (Reply 7):
It should be noted that Air India's and Jet Airways' and financial woes are only slightly less severe than Kingfisher's, and of course Air India being a government backed and financed outfit which still cannot seem to work its way out of a wet brown-paper bag who knows what will eventually happen when the realities of things hit the fan.

AI's financial performance seems to be largely irrelevant. The Government of India will do whatever it takes to keep Air India alive for some reason.

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 21):
The state control of AI does not even benefit the greater good of the Indian people. I'm not really sure where the resistance lies in privatizing AI but it does.

It really is fascinating how little AI does for India. It is unpopular, unreliable and a drain of resources. The government has already set up a capacity distribution scheme to ensure service to more rural areas, so it isn't like AI even provides that service.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 18):
I don't think that calling it the best airline in India would be an understatement.

The most recent DGCA statistics disagree. AI's on-time performance is the worst of all carriers, and significantly worse than Kingfisher's and Jet Airways', by far the highest cancellation rate and the third highest rate of passenger complaints. I think it would be a huge overstatement to say it is the best airline in India.
 
ElPistolero
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:30 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 22):

I recall reading in an aviation magazine that they were doing very well in the 1950's and 60's - apparently enjoying a reputation not dissimilar to SQ's today.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 18):
they are truly a world-class airline today

What is a world-class airline? A top of the line airline? Or an airline that provides the same level of service as everybody else, and is therefore distinctly average?

AI is ok. In terms of long-haul Y in-flight service, it is fair to say that it is superior to LH / AF / UA - more legroom, superior catering, and compared to LH and UA, personal AVOD IFE. In premium cabins, its around the same as them. I haven't flown AI much. Flown three long-hauls YYZ-LHR in J and Y a couple of years ago. Everything was on time. The website was awful. My miles wouldnt post without having to follow up with everyone involved. And when I tried to change a discounted J ticket, the AI office in YYZ told me to buy a new one (my travel agent subsequently changed it for 50 GBP). All I recall from those interactions was how frustrating it all was. I also recall FAs doing things they shouldn't have, like assigning people's seats away to accodomate families without asking them - causing not a few episodes when pax boarded their plane to find their seat taken. That all reeks of 'old' AI. Can't imagine that happening on any of the Euro carriers. So theres still a long ways to go.

Is AI *A material? If they've fixed their website and sorted out their crew, then why not? If UA can be considered *A quality, then AI should float right in. AI, even with its shortcomings, is some ways ahead of the two worst *A carriers I ve encountered - Air China and UA.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:38 am

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 21):

I agree with you 100% jfk777. The manner in which the airline is run ranges from very ineffecient to criminal. The state control of AI does not even benefit the greater good of the Indian people. I'm not really sure where the resistance lies in privatizing AI but it does. Forget privatization, re-structuring the management is still asking a lot. If the management of AI could show a tenth of the enthusiasm of aeroblogger it would help but they do not care because their own livelihoods are secure.

The resistance is political. It would be political suicide to try to kill AI - too many jobs at stake. For a variety of political reasons, most significantly corruption and the military heavily using AI, privatization also would not have much political support either.

Quoting aa757first (Reply 25):

Star Alliance probably has the upper hand here. Both AI and 9W want to join Star and no other alliance have any carriers in India. There's no disadvantage until SkyTeam or One World signs someone else up.

Utter nonsense. AI not joining Star would be much less painful than Star not having an Indian member. And after what has happened w/r/t the Indian market, Star's only choice in India is AI - the government isn't going to let them take anyone else.

Quoting aa757first (Reply 25):

AI's financial performance seems to be largely irrelevant.

  

Quoting aa757first (Reply 25):

The most recent DGCA statistics disagree. AI's on-time performance is the worst of all carriers, and significantly worse than Kingfisher's and Jet Airways', by far the highest cancellation rate and the third highest rate of passenger complaints. I think it would be a huge overstatement to say it is the best airline in India.

That's definitely not most recent - the most recent stats showed that AI was far more reliable than IT. AI was similar to SG and G8 in on-time rating. 6E and 9W have more reliable operations at this time... AI is fast improving though.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):

I recall reading in an aviation magazine that they were doing very well in the 1950's and 60's - apparently enjoying a reputation not dissimilar to SQ's today.

Many moons ago, AI was SQ's mentor airline. Nowadays, I think AI could use some mentoring FROM SQ.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):

What is a world-class airline? A top of the line airline? Or an airline that provides the same level of service as everybody else, and is therefore distinctly average?

An airline that provides the same level of service as other "world-class" airlines is world class. I assume that you don't normally fly airlines which are not "world class" - when I say not "world class" I'm talking about airlines like PK (IFE is projectors!), IR (never again!), or perhaps an airline tike TM. Even UA is positively world class compared to all these airlines.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):

AI is ok. In terms of long-haul Y in-flight service, it is fair to say that it is superior to LH / AF / UA - more legroom, superior catering, and compared to LH and UA, personal AVOD IFE. In premium cabins, its around the same as them. I haven't flown AI much. Flown three long-hauls YYZ-LHR in J and Y a couple of years ago. Everything was on time.

That is world class  
Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):
he website was awful. My miles wouldnt post without having to follow up with everyone involved. And when I tried to change a discounted J ticket, the AI office in YYZ told me to buy a new one (my travel agent subsequently changed it for 50 GBP). All I recall from those interactions was how frustrating it all was.

The website and IT systems were upgraded as part of fulfilling requirements to join Star Alliance. These types of problems don't really exist anymore.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):
All I recall from those interactions was how frustrating it all was. I also recall FAs doing things they shouldn't have, like assigning people's seats away to accodomate families without asking them - causing not a few episodes when pax boarded their plane to find their seat taken. That all reeks of 'old' AI.

This reeks of India, not AI specifically. Every time I board an AI, 9W, IT, 6E, SG, or G8 flight, this is precisely what happens. Indian culture, not specific to AI. Even when I board an LH or CO flight out of India, the Hindi speaking FAs are often doing the same thing...

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):

Is AI *A material? If they've fixed their website and sorted out their crew, then why not? If UA can be considered *A quality, then AI should float right in. AI, even with its shortcomings, is some ways ahead of the two worst *A carriers I ve encountered - Air China and UA.

Website has been sorted out, crew will never be unless they bring in foreigners  ... And honestly, with the IT sorted out and reliability improving tangibly every month since the new management took over, I think that AI is truly ready to be a member of *A.
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Gr8Circle
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:57 am

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):
I recall reading in an aviation magazine that they were doing very well in the 1950's and 60's - apparently enjoying a reputation not dissimilar to SQ's today.

That's very true....AI in the 60's and 70's was well known for their service, although it was a very small airline with a fleet of 15-20 planes......

But those days will not come back easily for the present day AI....reason is that the founder of the airline, JRD Tata, was the Chairman in those days and he pretty much kept the airline on track with his personal touch.......the moment the govt. ousted him in favor of political appointees in the late 70's, the decline started......
 
aa757first
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:04 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 27):
Utter nonsense. AI not joining Star would be much less painful than Star not having an Indian member. And after what has happened w/r/t the Indian market, Star's only choice in India is AI - the government isn't going to let them take anyone else.

No one else has an Indian partner, so it isn't that big of a deal. The problem would be if Star let in Air India and then the DGCA interfered, forcing Jet into another alliance. Then Star is left with the second rate carrier.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 27):
That's definitely not most recent - the most recent stats showed that AI was far more reliable than IT. AI was similar to SG and G8 in on-time rating. 6E and 9W have more reliable operations at this time... AI is fast improving though.

This is the data from January 2012. I doubt it gets any more recent.

http://dgca.nic.in/reports/rep-ind.htm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 27):
An airline that provides the same level of service as other "world-class" airlines is world class. I assume that you don't normally fly airlines which are not "world class" - when I say not "world class" I'm talking about airlines like PK (IFE is projectors!), IR (never again!), or perhaps an airline tike TM. Even UA is positively world class compared to all these airlines.

"World class" is a very subjective word. Most people, however, would define it as an airline that sets the pace for the others, not an airline that isn't the worst. You've named carriers that are probably bottom of the barrel. World class would probably be airlines like Cathay, Asiana, Qatar, Singapore, etc.
 
ElPistolero
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:25 am

Quoting aa757first (Reply 29):

No one else has an Indian partner, so it isn't that big of a deal. The problem would be if Star let in Air India and then the DGCA interfered, forcing Jet into another alliance. Then Star is left with the second rate carrier.

LH is responsible for that mess. It was so busy trying to get a firm grip in India, that it committed to AI. LH made the bed for *A; now they are going to have to lie in it.

As a *A user, I would much prefer Jet, but I wouldn't mind AI. Its not quite the second rate carrier its made out to be. Its not as good as jet, but in an alliance that has everything from the appalling UA to the stellar SQ, AI would be a middle of the range airline - certainly not outstanding, but by no means offensive. It would probably benefit from the alliance too. So while AI may be second-rate, its still better than the bonafide third rate carriers that also participate in *A. Its definitely better than UA/ Air China/SAA.

Quoting aa757first (Reply 29):

"World class" is a very subjective word. Most people, however, would define it as an airline that sets the pace for the others, not an airline that isn't the worst. You've named carriers that are probably bottom of the barrel. World class would probably be airlines like Cathay, Asiana, Qatar, Singapore, etc.

My thoughts exactly, though I m surprised its coming from someone with AA in their name. AA, UA and DL are around the same level of service IMHO.
 
wdleiser
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:01 am

In all honesty, having AI in their alliance seems more like a liability than an asset for Star. AI is quite corrupt and seems to have a far inferior product and pretty poor customer service.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:18 am

Quoting wdleiser (Reply 31):
In all honesty, having AI in their alliance seems more like a liability than an asset for Star. AI is quite corrupt and seems to have a far inferior product and pretty poor customer service.

false on all counts. While there is plenty of government interference, the corruption in the organization is not severe at all.

The product is far superior to airlines like SA)">UA, US, LH, and they are all comfortably in *A. Keep in mind that this is an airline with full-flat seats in Business class ("top quality airlines" like LH still is angled lie flat), Really good IFE in economy ("top quality airlines" like LH don't have this on some of their fleet), and what is widely considered to have one of the best catering departments in the world...

Customer service is also generally good, although they (like every other Indian carrier) have a high profile PR nightmare every few months... Nothing unique though, 9W, IT, SG, G8, and even 6E face similar problems...


Overall, I agree with ElPistolero's analysis - they are middle of the pack. Not SQ standard, but not CA/UA/US/SA either... The increase in connectivity in India, both domestically and internationally, means that AI will definitely be more of an asset than a liability for *A.

[Edited 2012-03-09 19:21:40]
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BOACCunard
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:36 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 30):
As a *A user, I would much prefer Jet, but I wouldn't mind AI. Its not quite the second rate carrier its made out to be. Its not as good as jet, but in an alliance that has everything from the appalling UA to the stellar SQ, AI would be a middle of the range airline - certainly not outstanding, but by no means offensive.

If UA is appalling and AI is "mid-range," AI must be a pretty good airline. I am currently on a UA flight and other than the lack of free food on domestic flights, I have not seen anything happen that could be described as appalling.

I think the thing people are missing here is that there is the perception -- I don't know if it is reality or not, but it is a perception -- that AI is not a reliable airline. With an airline like UA that perception isn't there.

Then there is also the matter that AI is in a market with a competitor that is widely consider a higher quality airline -- 9W. It is not like Star could really have chosen a higher quality airline in the US; if you think UA is appalling that probably goes for AA and DL too, and it is not like the US market can be ignored. Similarly, people may not like CA but are MU or CZ better? You are not going to not participate in a market like the US or China because none of the airlines are good enough.
Getting There is Half the Fun!
 
LFutia
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:57 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 18):
I am a customer as well as a blogger, and I will tell you that Air India does have the loyalty of pretty much everyone who has flown them recently - they are truly a world-class airline today. When you compare them to the likes of Lufthansa, Air France, etc. - all considered world class - Air India beats them hands down on product and price. 100% of the time. Their problem is perception, not the actual airline. The product is very good, reliability is average for the Indian industry, and improving rapidly. I don't think that calling it the best airline in India would be an understatement.

I'm sorry but I live in the US and of Indian descent and I prefer to take European carriers over AI. European carriers offer a much superior service over AI.

Leo/ORD
Leo/ORD
 
ElPistolero
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 33):
If UA is appalling and AI is "mid-range," AI must be a pretty good airline. I am currently on a UA flight and other than the lack of free food on domestic flights

AI is a pretty good airline *in the air*. Outside of that, they were quite the mess the last time I flew them. I couldn't even change a ticket and getting miles posted was one of those "You have to fax in your boarding passes" episodes which fortunately got sorted out through scanning. An utter pain.

Why do I call UA appalling by comparison?

In Y longhaul, UA seat pitch is 31". AI is 33". In terms of catering, AI blows UA out of the water in terms of quality and quantity - its no contest, really. IFE - AI has it, many of UA's aircraft don't. Staring at a seatback on a SYD-LAX run is, well, pretty much bottom of the barrel in this day and age. UA is, effectively, the Ryanair of longhaul, a couple of poor quality meals notwithstanding. On shorthaul, AI Is a full service airline. UA is a Ryanair equivalent - nickel and dime for everything. That is appalling, relative to fair paid.

In J long-haul, I ve had the opportunity to sample both their new J products. 2-4-2 on a UA 777, vs 2-3-2 on the AI 777. That alone should explain it. I m reluctant to compare catering in J, since that invariably depends on personal taste. Amenity kit etc - AI wins.

IFE - I ll give to UA AVOD (where it exists), but only because AI's IFE is a shambles in terms of organization. English movies showing up in the German section but not in the English section etc.

Cabin crew on both are hit or miss.

So yes, I do think that UA is appalling in comparison to other *A carriers. AI really isnt that bad. Not their new product anyway.

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 33):
that AI is not a reliable airline. With an airline like UA that perception isn't there.

Fair point. I flew with AI on YYZ-LHR a few times with no delays or other issues. However, I recall reading that incident at LGW, so yes, I think AI still has more than enough bugs in its system that it needs to sort out. Is UA more reliable? Probably. AI hasn't been unreliable with me, but I m sure you can find many people whose 'father's brother's wife's sister's mother-in-law" had a problem with AI.

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 33):
It is not like Star could really have chosen a higher quality airline in the US; if you think UA is appalling that probably goes for AA and DL too

Never used AA, and only ever flown DL once (round trip). However, there is one airline that has consistently impressed me, perhaps even more so than AC (especially on value-for-money). Continental Airlines. Their J longhaul product was stellar compared to UA's 'new' product (took CO on the outbound, UA on the inbound). In fact, you jsut have to compare CO to UA to realise how bad UA is.
 
pnd100
Posts: 198
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:53 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 27):
This reeks of India, not AI specifically. Every time I board an AI, 9W, IT, 6E, SG, or G8 flight, this is precisely what happens. Indian culture, not specific to AI. Even when I board an LH or CO flight out of India, the Hindi speaking FAs are often doing the same thing...

I'm not really sure what to say. I have flown to India on business & on tour several times with BA, LH, EK, 9W, SG & IT. I have never found this to be the case on any of their flights regardless of the origins of the FAs. If this does happen on AI this is appalling. I understand that there are some aspects of Indian culture that may seem strange to the uninitiated but this type of behaviour falls outside of cultural tolerance & falls into a disturbing lack of professionalism.

Quoting aa757first (Reply 29):
"World class" is a very subjective word. Most people, however, would define it as an airline that sets the pace for the others, not an airline that isn't the worst. You've named carriers that are probably bottom of the barrel. World class would probably be airlines like Cathay, Asiana, Qatar, Singapore, etc.

I agree that world class is subjective but the general impression of Cathay, Qatar & Singapore Airlines is accepted by many people worldwide as being the best airlines in terms of service, fleet & connectivity.

Quoting LFutia (Reply 34):
I'm sorry but I live in the US and of Indian descent and I prefer to take European carriers over AI. European carriers offer a much superior service over AI.

I have heard this hundreds of times from people of Indian origin across the world. It may be that a lot of this negative perception of AI is false but their customer facing operations does not show any other reality

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
AI is a pretty good airline *in the air*. Outside of that, they were quite the mess the last time I flew them. I couldn't even change a ticket and getting miles posted was one of those "You have to fax in your boarding passes" episodes which fortunately got sorted out through scanning. An utter pain.

AI is one the most difficult airlines to deal with online or offline. Their methods are sometimes simply baffling
 
Kaiarahi
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:21 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 27):
Star's only choice in India is AI - the government isn't going to let them take anyone else.

That really says it all.
Empty vessels make the most noise.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:48 pm

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 37):
That really says it all.

Pretty much. It's important to remember that LH and Star made their own bed, and now they get to sleep in it - if they had shown some patience, not been so concerned about A380 rights, etc., they could have let SkyTeam or oneworld take AI, and then show up with Jet Airways later on...

Although I'm not sure if 9W is much better right now - salaries delayed for months and taxes paid late seems to be the name of the game here in India.
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Kaiarahi
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:54 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 38):

I was referring to

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 27):
the government isn't going to let them take anyone else
Empty vessels make the most noise.
 
aeroblogger
Posts: 1388
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:05 pm

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 39):

I was referring to

Yes, I know. And I am clarifying why the government won't let them take anyone else.
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BestWestern
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:42 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 18):
eliability is average for the Indian industry

To be fair, AIs punctuality in London has improved dramatically. On LHR DEL, they are more punctual that Virgin Atlantic for the first nine months of 2011

http://www.flightontime.info/londondelhi/index.html

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 26):
Is AI *A material?

Its not as if Star Alliance is only a group of top notch carriers - Egyptair - for example - were nearly banned from flying to the EU a few years back.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:02 pm

Air India's on-time numbers for last month were just released. Over 80% of flights were ontime. And considering all the infrastructure-caused delays here in India (too many flights, not enough runways), that's pretty respectable. Certainly in line with competition...

It's said that when things go according to plan on AI, things are fantastic. It's IRROPS where AI tends to be behind the pack. But under normal circumstances, they are in line with or better than competition reliability-wise.
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ElPistolero
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:06 pm

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 39):

Aeroblogger's right. LH made a conscious decision to promote AI around the time that 9W began its international operations. The aim was to get more access to India and eventually get A380 rights. They did get more access, though it came with a certain amount of expectation from AI and the Indian govt.

Things have changed significantly since. It seems as though they aren't doing well in India. They're dropping Kolkata and Hyderabad this month. And to top it off, the Govt briefly started asking pointed questions about whether the ownership of LX violated the bilateral agreement. Thats not being pursued anymore, fortunately for LH, though the ball is still in India's court and if it decides to suspend the bilat with Switzerland (or Austria, for that mater), the impact on LH will be significant while the impact on Indian airlines will be minimal.

That explains why everyone thinks (realises?) that AI and the Indian govt are calling the shots more than *A on this. I think thats a bit overexxagerated, but the Indian govt certainly has the upper hand against LH. They can switch off the LH group's access to India without causing any problems for Indian airlines, especially now that FRA is not being used as an AI hub. Other *A carriers like SQ/CO/TG etc won't be affected because of stronger political ties and stronger Indian airline participation on those routes.

Frankly, its easy to blame the Indian government for this, but LH is equally responsible for betting on the wrong horse and making promises it couldn't keep or had no intention of keeping. Only AI and LH know what went down, but the genuine anger being demonstrated by the Indian govt suggests LH more than played its part in this episode.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:17 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 43):

Things have changed significantly since. It seems as though they aren't doing well in India. They're dropping Kolkata and Hyderabad this month.

I have a feeling that they're going to be doing something with those flights - between CCU and HYD, they are dropping 7 weekly frequencies to India. They probably are looking to double up on another destination without going over the bilateral limits..

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 43):
but the genuine anger being demonstrated by the Indian govt suggests LH more than played its part in this episode.

I don't know the whole story, but I'm genuinely angry too... I don't particularly like people/organizations who think that they can take advantage of the government of my country...   
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BestWestern
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:19 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 43):
LH made a conscious decision to promote AI around the time that 9W began its international operations.

Not so sure about that... LH didnt really play with AI in FRA with their small hub there.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
pnd100
Posts: 198
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:39 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 44):
Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 43):
but the genuine anger being demonstrated by the Indian govt suggests LH more than played its part in this episode.

I don't know the whole story, but I'm genuinely angry too... I don't particularly like people/organizations who think that they can take advantage of the government of my country...   

To be fair aeroblogger, the GOI is not the victim that it portrays itself to be. They have proven in a wide variety of issues from landing slots to the A380 to AI to alliances that they will do whatever necessary to protect their self-interests. Of course if their self-interests coincided with national interests we could not blame them. In any country the government is assigned to protect national interests, unfortunately the GOI / DGCA in India seem to care only for their own livelihoods & are not interested in creating a balanced & accessible environment for Indian businesses & people. We live in a world where international trade & exchange needs to be opened to ensure success, especially for an emerging economy like India. The attitude of the GOI in relation to aviation is stuck in the era of government protectionism.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 44):
Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 43):

Things have changed significantly since. It seems as though they aren't doing well in India. They're dropping Kolkata and Hyderabad this month.

I have a feeling that they're going to be doing something with those flights - between CCU and HYD, they are dropping 7 weekly frequencies to India. They probably are looking to double up on another destination without going over the bilateral limits..

I cannot blame LH for dropping CCU. It is sad what CCU has become in 50 years, from the center of business in India to barely a top 10 market. The traffic is extremely price sensitive, low yield VFR traffic which has little loyalty. LH was the last European carrier to serve CCU. Everyone else tried & failed. CCU is an example of a destination best left to the Gulf carriers like EK who specialize in this type of traffic. Even Indian carriers do not fly internationally from CCU (I mean long haul, there are some flights to BKK / HKG & DAC) with good reason. As for HYD that did surprise me as there is a slightly better business market there but clearly not enough to maintain.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 43):
Frankly, its easy to blame the Indian government for this, but LH is equally responsible for betting on the wrong horse
LH clearly bet on the wrong horse in India by going with AI. No amount of 787s or alliance membership will turn around AI without a change in management & the withdrawal of government interference. The question now is how do both sides come to a mutually beneficial solution. Is that still even possible?

[Edited 2012-03-11 07:45:48]
 
aeroblogger
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:55 pm

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 46):

To be fair aeroblogger, the GOI is not the victim that it portrays itself to be. They have proven in a wide variety of issues from landing slots to the A380 to AI to alliances that they will do whatever necessary to protect their self-interests. Of course if their self-interests coincided with national interests we could not blame them. In any country the government is assigned to protect national interests, unfortunately the GOI / DGCA in India seem to care only for their own livelihoods & are not interested in creating a balanced & accessible environment for Indian businesses & people. We live in a world where international trade & exchange needs to be opened to ensure success, especially for an emerging economy like India. The attitude of the GOI in relation to aviation is stuck in the era of government protectionism.

I agree that GoI is not a victim. The attitude of government protectionism is something encouraged by the fact that the voting population of India largely in favor of these policies, and India is (thankfully) a democracy  

Whether GoI is actually a victim or not is irrelevant though. LH and *A tried to take advantage of the largest democracy in the world. I, for one, am not a fan.

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 46):

I cannot blame LH for dropping CCU. It is sad what CCU has become in 50 years, from the center of business in India to barely a top 10 market. The traffic is extremely price sensitive, low yield VFR traffic which has little loyalty. LH was the last European carrier to serve CCU. Everyone else tried & failed. CCU is an example of a destination best left to the Gulf carriers like EK who specialize in this type of traffic. Even Indian carriers do not fly internationally from CCU with good reason. As for HYD that did surprise me as there is a slightly better business market there but clearly not enough to maintain.

Businesses have been leaving HYD as fast as they can until the Telangana situation is resolved. For those not aware, Telanagana is an ethnic group who want statehood. The government hasn't done anything except twiddle their thumbs on the issue, so they decided to generally create a lot of disruption that hurts the business environment. Until that issue gets sorted out, I don't forsee much growth at HYD at all.

Quoting pnd100 (Reply 46):

LH clearly bet on the wrong horse in India by going with AI. No amount of 787s or alliance membership will turn around AI without a change in management & the withdrawal of government interference. The question now is how do both sides come to a mutually beneficial solution. Is that still even possible?

After AI didn't make it into *A, heads rolled. In fact, that was one of the most positive aspects of the whole fiasco. The new management is much better - reliability has improved to over 80% on time. Costs have been cut. Yields and load factors are up... Now, AI won't make it to profitability until the government stops interfering and they are able to shed their legacy costs (such as the massive payroll). However, when you don't include the bloat in their staff costs compared to competition and the loss-making, government mandated, ultra-longhaul routes that they operate, AI is actually much more profitable than the likes of 9W.. And don't get me started on a comparison with IT  AI may not make money, but with government backing, that doesn't really matter. As long as they are reasonably reliable and are a decent quality airline (and they have made major steps in these directions), they are an excellent fit for *A. No other Indian carrier would give *A as much leverage in the Indian market.

[Edited 2012-03-11 07:57:08]
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ElPistolero
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:30 pm

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 45):
Not so sure about that... LH didnt really play with AI in FRA with their small hub there.

That doesn't surprise me. All the routes AI served from FRA were covered by LH and other *A carriers. But that aside, there was a period of very close cooperation between the two airlines in the mid- to late - 2000's. I may be wrong, but wasn't there a German working in a pretty senior position in AI towards the end of the last decade? Or am I mixing AI with 9W?
 
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lightsaber
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RE: AI And *A Resume Membership Talks

Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:35 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 42):
It's IRROPS where AI tends to be behind the pack.

That is unfortunately what drives AI's reputation. Whenever DEL fogs in, frequent fliers come back praising 9W and slamming AI. Its little things: friendliness of information presentation, timeliness of information, etc. Nothing that of itself should drive everything, but AI, when operations have issues, has a bad reputation as to how they treat customers waiting to get onto the plane.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):

I'm furious. Why did AI give in?

After multiple delays, *A wasn't about to 'give in.' Negotiations are a two way street. I still cannot understand why AI took so long to bring their computer systems into compliance with *A. 9W is ready... If AI had taken the normal 90 to 120 days to integrate into *A, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 1):
*A decided to play hardball, and they should pay for it.

Why? The state of India plays hardball all the time. Negotiations now are 'what can you do for me in the future.' T

To a business, that is sunk costs (ignored). It is individuals and egos who worry about such things. Please read "The Lexus and the Olive Tree." If AI truly has that attitude to *A, they should never be let it.

And pay for it? What make UA pay for it and suffer the wrath of a bilateral fight with the USA? If LH is made to 'pay for it,' they Germany would reconsider their bilateral... It would be the IT, pharma, and chemical industries of India that would suffer.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
Cabin crew on both are hit or miss.

The issue is the miss. I stopped flying AA due to too many cabin crew 'misses.' Now post bankruptcy, they have their act together. Customers tend not to tolerate a 'miss.' The issue for AI is 9W has much lower rate of 'miss.' IT (the airline, not the industry) is not going to survive in my opinion, so not worth discussing.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 27):
Star's only choice in India is AI - the government isn't going to let them take anyone else.

Why should the government determine that? Technically, that is not in line with the trade agreements India has signed.

Until Skyteam has an Indian partner, as already noted, this is just noise and discussion. Seriously, if this was really that big of a deal, AI would have had their software in line in time to join *A. In the time they delayed, the Indian aviation market changed. Heck, the global aviation market changed.

Customer expectations have risen.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 38):
Although I'm not sure if 9W is much better right now

From a customer service perspective, 9W still has the loyalty of high RASM customers. That said, until at least one Indian airline is allowed to fail, all will suffer.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 47):
After AI didn't make it into *A, heads rolled.

Good. From the statistics you supplied, it sounds like AI is a far better candidate for *A than the AI "pre- *A fiasco." But will they keep improving? IMHO that question justifies *A bringing in 9W. It also takes away 9W from consideration for another alliance.

IMHO, the worst case scenario for *A is to lose 9W to Skyteam. Hence why *A wants both AI and 9W (lock out the competition). This will be interesting for a while.

Lightsaber
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Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos