India’s Kingfisher Airlines Set to Join oneworld Alliance

India’s Kingfisher Airlines Set to Join oneworld Alliance

India’s leading domestic carrier and only five-star airline, Kingfisher Airlines, is lining up to join oneworld® - the quality airline alliance in which Japan Airlines (JAL) belong, after signing a memorandum of understanding as its first step towards full membership, subject to Indian regulatory approval. Kingfisher Airlines today applied to India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation for authority to proceed with its membership of oneworld.

British Airways will support Kingfisher Airlines through its alliance implementation program, as its oneworld sponsor and Kingfisher Airlines could be expected to start flying as part of oneworld during 2011.

Kingfisher Airlines’ addition to oneworld will link India’s most extensive domestic network with oneworld’s unrivalled global network, as the only alliance with airlines based on every continent. It will add 58 cities to the oneworld map - all of them in India and this will expand oneworld’s network to 800 destinations in almost 150 countries, served by a combined fleet of 2,350 aircraft operating some 9,000 flights a day, carrying some 340 million passengers a year.

JAL and its oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qantas and Royal Jordanian already serve five gateways in India between them - Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Kingfisher Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Vijay Mallya said: “Kingfisher Airlines is proud to be lining up to join the world’s leading quality global airline alliance. Becoming part of oneworld would be one of our most significant steps so far - and is right in line with our vision to become one of the world’s top airlines. It will enable us to offer our guests a truly global network served by partners who include some of the best known and most admired airlines in the world, with frequent flyer benefits extended throughout this network.  It will also strengthen us financially, through revenues from passengers transferring to our network from our oneworld partners and the cost reduction opportunities the alliance offers.”

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oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch added: “Last February oneworld celebrated its 10th birthday. This February we’ve been able to celebrate Japan Airlines’ reaffirmation of its oneworld membership, its filing for anti-trust immunity across the Pacific with American Airlines, tentative approval in the US for anti-trust immunity for our transatlantic partners and in Australia for British Airways and Qantas’ joint services agreement on the kangaroo route between Europe and Australia - and now we are welcoming Kingfisher Airlines on board. Kingfisher Airlines will fill one of oneworld’s few remaining membership spaces with a carrier that matches our alliance’s demanding requirements, benefiting customers by expanding our global reach and helping us ensure oneworld remains the pre-eminent global alliance with members unmatched in brand and service quality.”