Jet Airways May Not Join Star Alliance After All


The alliance saga of the carriers of India continues…

After Star Alliance formally invited Jet Airways, and Air India got out of the way, it seemed like Jet Airways joining Star was just a matter of time.

But, this morning, a major Indian newspaper published an article titled “Jet Airways may not join Star Alliance” –

Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, may not get any member airline from India — one of the world’s largest growing aviation market.

After the 27-strong member alliance rejected Air India’s application for a membership, Jet Airways, who is in talks with the alliance, may decide against joining the group.

“We are talking to all three alliances and may not join Star Alliance because they already have a strong member in this side of the world,” said a senior Jet executive on condition of anonymity.

The Naresh Goyal-promoted airline is also in talks with global alliances Oneworld and SkyTeam.

“We do not know how much will we benefit by joining the alliance with Singapore already a member. There is a thinking that the benefits will not be much from Star Alliance and our talks with the other two airline alliances is also on,” he said.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what Jet Airways is trying to accomplish with this. Are they trying to get a better deal from Star? Are they actually choosing a different alliance? Are they totally confused, just like we are?

It is no secret that Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance. They joined over a decade ago – not yesterday. And on the other hand, what is so special about Singapore? Thai and Lufthansa also have comprehensive Indian networks… And in other alliances, Cathay, SriLankan, and Malaysia Airlines (oneworld) also serve many Indian gateways. And SkyTeam has lots of Asian carriers as well.

There’s no doubt that Jet should look at all its options, but this is getting ridiculous. At this rate, there won’t be any Indian carriers in alliances even a decade from now.


  1. What are they smoking??

    SQ’s presence in the alliance doesn’t negatively affect the ability of Jet to profit from joining. Far from it. I wonder if this is the executives somehow trying to cover for the government pressuring them to back down or something like that.

    • I really doubt that this is due to government pressure – the thing you need to understand is that AI has no advocate in the fundamentally corrupt system which is India – politicians climb over each other to cater to the private carriers (and extract the related bribes). Since the owners of private carriers have a lot to gain from being unfairly favored, they participate in the system.

      In contrast, who is going to bribe politicians/media on behalf of AI? The government? Yeah right…

  2. Sanjeev M says:

    Well if the politicians are supposedly wanting to help the private carriers and their politically connected owners, you would think that Jet would be able to join an alliance of their choosing, or at least some alliance as fast as possible to hurt AI even more. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    So if the politicians hate AI, and don’t help Jet, who do they care about? IndiGo? SpiceJet? Or no one at all?

    • India is not an autocracy. There is no 1 “preferred carrier” – every carrier has supporters and detractors in the political (and media) establishment.

      For example, SpiceJet is owned by the Maran Bros (paid for by a 550 crore bribe which was recently revealed in an audit). The Marans and their political allies support their airline…
      Jet Airways is supported by Naresh Goyal and his political allies. NG also has a reputation of being willing to put up a lot of money to “convince” decision makers…
      GoAir is supported by the Wadia family (decendants of Jinnah) and their allies.
      And we all know about how Mallya has managed to keep Kingfisher afloat. The (state-controlled) banks, airports, etc. keep on providing debt, and the DGCA refuses to shut them down.

      I wouldn’t say that politicians hate any specific carrier or love any specific carrier – there are many, many forces at play..

  3. Broken Wings says:

    All that politicians in India care about is, MAKING MONEY & HOW TO CONTINUE TO STAY IN POWER TO MAKE MORE MONEY.
    There is no loyalty towards their own country, forget about any airline. They are such a vicious breed, that they are ready to sell their mothers if they have to.
    Please do not try to find reason behind any move by any airline. The only motive behind any decision is restricted to making money for these shameless breed of politicians.
    We the citizens of this Banana Republic are just mere spectators & aid in contributing to the coffers which are waiting to be plundered by these politicians who will put dacoits to shame…

  4. The Insider says:

    The fact is with Jet emerging as the predominant FSC in India, both LH and SQ are uneasy about having it on board.
    Jet is probably just preempting them before they shut the door.
    It will be interesting to see if AI welcomes back Star and If Star is still interested in AI.