The Oneworld alliance isn't rushing to put an Indian airline on its books, according to group CEO Bruce Ashby.
While Air India is soon to celebrate its first year as a member of the competing Star Alliance, Ashby – speaking with media at this week's International Air Transport Association meeting in Miami – says he doesn't feel pressured to rush into a hasty hook-up.
"Our share of revenue and passengers in India is pretty strong as many of our carriers go there and have codeshare relationships" Ashby (below) told journalists during a breakfast session.
"We think India is very important and we will keep our eye on that... but I will not go so far as to say that we feel great pressure to do anything [in terms of finding a partner]."
Oneworld previously eyed Kingfisher in early 2012 before the Indian airline imploded with crippling losses exceeding US$1.1 billion and had its bank accounts frozen due to non-payment of tax.
Ashby admits that a low-cost carrier could find a seat at the Oneworld table, although it would be the odd one out among the group's family of full-service airlines including Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific – but it would come with caveats.
"A low-cost carrier will be required to do a certain changes in its system like the frequent flyer programme and a few technical upgrades to be eligible to join our alliance" Ashby told India's Economic Times.
"If any airline is willing to invest in that, we would surely look at inducting them."
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