Kingfisher gears up to join Oneworld

by Alister POOLE on June 9, 2010

India’s second largest airline according to passenger numbers, Kingfisher Airlines, announced its membership into the Oneworld Alliance, an international grouping of global carriers.

The carrier has begun the 18-24-month process of coming on board the global organisation, but has already signed a memorandum of understanding as of last February. A formal contract was signed on Monday after the airline was able to meet key requirements to join the group. Prior approval from the civil aviation ministry and other regulatory bodies was also a condition for membership for the airline.

Vice president of Kingfisher Airlines, Manoj Chacko, said that the carrier was entering into a strategic position by joining the group that will allow it to fly to 150 different countries with a repertoire of over 800 destinations. At present, he added, the airline flies to 70 destinations in 12 different cities. Mr Chacko said the carrier was serious about its commitment to further expanding its domestic network.

Other airlines belonging to Oneworld include American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, British Airways, Finnair, and Japan Airlines. As Kingfisher moves into its position has a full fledged member, individual member carriers have begun to negotiate deals with the airline. Already, British Airways and Kingfisher have agreed to codeshare.

Kingfisher was recently given the rights to run services to London’s Heathrow and New Delhi, both of which will begin next March. Currently, the airline also offers a service from Mumbai to London. Other destinations offered by Kingfisher include Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, and Bangkok.

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