After a 3 1/2 year courtship, Star Alliance has suspended its invitation to Air India to join the group after the Indian carrier failed to meet minimum requirements around safety, technology and finances. I know that Star would like to bolster its Indian presence, but Air India has been a long-term disaster, and its floundering merger with Indian Airlines has not helped things go smoother.
Air India has faced pressure from the public and Star Alliance because of questionable safety procedures as well as its on-time record. I don’t think anyone at Star would put the airline on par with most of the other carriers in the group (perhaps LOT Polish?) and it really seemed like they thought the airline would be able to turn itself around over the past couple of years. That has not happened yet, though their board has recently approved a turnaround plan to get the airline profitable by 2015 by a mixture of cash infusions, spinning off divisions, and fixing the issues with the Indian Airlines merger. If I may be blunt: that simply won’t happen.