11 Feb 2018 14:02 IST

Soon, book Lufthansa ticket through Air India mobile app!

Star Alliance, which Air India and Lufthansa are members of, has launched a digital services platform

Passengers might soon be able to book tickets on Star Alliance member airlines through the website or app of any member carrier, thanks to the grouping’s digital services initiative.

A 28-member strong Star Alliance, that also has national carrier Air India onboard, has launched the digital services platform in collaboration with technology major Accenture.

The platform can gather data provided by an individual member airline or third-party source and make it available to all member carriers as well as enable them to have their own customer-facing digital applications, according to the alliance.

“With India being the focus of Star Alliance for 2018, the country can expect a series of technological partnerships this year as the global airlines’ grouping plans to sign contracts with certain firms later this year,” Star Alliance’s Chief Executive Jeffrey Goh told PTI.

The alliance has come out with a system wherein a person can choose seat in a member airline through the app of another member carrier.

The system is already operational for United Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

Elaborating on the facility, Goh said it means that now a United passenger can select a seat on a Singapore Airlines flight if he or she is travelling on a single ticket and change flights on these two airlines.

During a free-wheeling conversation here, Goh said that such a service would help generate “quite a chunk of ancillary revenues” for the airlines.

The modalities are being worked out on how each airline would divide the revenues earned from this service among themselves.

Besides, Lufthansa is now using a Star Alliance platform for baggage data, through which a passenger can locate his or her bag on whichever member airline (within the alliance) he or she is flying.

“Air India’s baggage data from Delhi and Mumbai airports are now linked with the Star Alliance baggage hub,” Goh said.

In the long term, the alliance aims to allow customers to use any member airline’s website or mobile application to obtain all the information they need for travel on other member carriers, it said in a statement.

The alliance’s platform offers real-time data exchange and standardised applications to improve a customer’s travel experience for multiple carrier journeys and beyond, Robert Zippel, who leads technology consulting within Accenture’s Travel industry practice, said in the statement.

Among others, the alliance has developed a system for online redemption of miles flown by frequent fliers.

“By the end of 2018, these member carrier FFP (frequent flyer programme) websites will allow customers to check flight availability and book redemption seats online for flights operated by all 28 Star Alliance member airlines,” the alliance said in the statement.

Currently, the members of the alliance offers more than 18,400 daily flights to 1,300 airports spread across 191 countries.

Apart from Air India, other Star Alliance members include Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, South African Airways and Turkish Airlines.