India’s Kingfisher Airlines is exploring the possibility of flying to the US via co-branded flights with Deccan Aviation Ltd in order to achieve its aim of flying abroad next year, the Economic Times reported, citing Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya.
According to Indian government norms, an airline seeking to start overseas flights needs to clock at least five years of domestic operations. And while Kingfisher will be eligible to fly overseas only in 2010, Air Deccan will be eligible by Aug 2008.
‘Kingfisher will fly international in 2008. If the government relaxes the norm, then it will fly on its own steam. If it doesn’t, we may use Air Deccan to go abroad,’ the report quoted Mallya as saying.
‘We will do everything required to help Kingfisher fly abroad. If need be, we can also look at co-branding,’ said Deccan Aviation chairman GR Gopinath.
UB Holdings, which owns Kingfisher Airlines, has a 26 pct stake in Deccan Aviation and is in the process of hiking this stake to around 46 pct via an open offer.
The report added the companies are mulling flights connecting San Francisco to Bangalore and Los Angeles to Mumbai.