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Jet Airways Requests Permission to Join Star Alliance

Jet Airways has asked the Indian aviation ministry for permission to join Star Alliance. This gives the Indian government a bit of a conundrum: government-owned Air India was set to join Star Alliance in 2011, but depending on whom you believe, they were either such an unbelievable operational disaster that Star would not permit them to join, or (according to the Indian government) Star put such ridiculous requirements on Air India that there was no way they could possibly join.

(For those keeping score at home, Air India is the only airline asked to become a member of Star Alliance that was then later told they could not join.)

Jet’s entry to Star Alliance would be a nice get for the group, as it would give them a significant presence in India – and on an airline with acclaimed service and premium class cabins.

India’s aviation sector is a mess, in no small part because of the government’s protectionist strategy designed to keep the mess-of-a-carrier Air India afloat while not permitting any reasonable amount of competition either from outside airlines providing far better service, nor from startup carriers within India (who are required to fly for 5 years before being given international routes).

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