Being reported from Mumbai, Lufthansa CEO Christop Franz has met with the Chairman of India’s Jet Airways ahead of Jet’s initiation of service to Frankfurt and Munich which will begin with the winter timetable later this fall.
The visit was portrayed as a formality suggesting that it is normal for heads of airlines to regularly meet with each other, however I can’t imagine that the topic of Alliance membership was the key topic of discussion. After all, why would the CEO of one of the lead members of Star Alliance meet with Jet Airways’ leadership? To give directions to Frankfurt and Munich?
It’s been no secret that the Star Alliance has wanted an Indian airline to join the group. It had come close with Air India, but Air India’s economic woes prevented their ascension into the alliance. Air India has for obvious reasons rejected the idea of Jet being the Indian carrier to finally make it to the Star Alliance.
As of now, Lufthansa and Air India are the only airlines that offer direct service between Germany and India and with Air India’s challenges it only makes sense that Lufthansa and Star Alliance are motivated and looking to bring in a viable Indian airline. If they don’t, oneworld and Skyteam would certainly be attracted to Jet.