Star Alliance says it doesn't need a partner airline from the Middle East, and is instead focussed on finding new members in Russia and Latin America.
Alliance CEO Mark Schwab maintains that his network "does not have a gap" in the Middle East region thanks to current members Egyptair and Turkish Airlines.
However, in an interview with Travel Daily, Schwab admitted that "there is one large geographical area that there is still a gap in and that is in Russia".
"Star Alliance has no home carrier there yet as that has its own infrastructure and consolidation issues and we don’t have a resolution to that yet," he added.
Russia's largest airline by passenger numbers, S7, is a member of competing alliance Oneworld while de facto flag carrier Aeroflot is aligned with SkyTeam.
In Latin America, current Star Alliance member TAM will decamp to Oneworld on March 31st as part of its merger with Chilean sibling LAN and LAN Columbia.
However, Star hopes its recent signing of Columbia's Avianca and later this year sibling Avianca Brazil will maintain the balance.
Star has almost no prospects with the 'big three' Gulf airliners: Qatar signed up to Oneworld last year while Emirates and Etihad remain happily independent and often outspokenly pessimistic about the role of alliances.
Emirates has of course formed its own partnership with Qantas while Etihad is busy weaving a 'fourth alliance' of partner airlines including Virgin Australia, Airberlin, Ireland's Aer Lingus, India's Jet Airways and potentially Alitalia.
High on Schwab's to-do list right now remains shepherding Air India back into the fold, after the airline's previous application to join the Star family was suspended in July 2011.
"We still have some work to do but I don’t see any barriers," said Schwab, who last month predicted that Air India could take its seat at the table as early as June this year.
"Without giving a specific date, one can say that we will complete all the ground work and formalities of Air India’s entry into the Star Alliance club by this summer" Schwab told journalists during a press briefing in Mumbai. "After that, they will be ready to join straight away."
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