Kingfisher Airlines has became a member elect of oneworld® after completing a formal membership agreement with the alliance – moving India’s leading airline a landmark step towards flying as part of the world’s premier airline alliance and bringing 56 Indian cities onto the oneworld map.
The contract was signed by the Kingfisher Airlines’ Chairman and Chief Executive Vijay Mallya and his counterparts from all 12 of oneworld existing partners and members elect. It follows a memorandum of understanding reached between Kingfisher Airlines and oneworld, announced in late February, setting out a framework for membership discussions.
India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation granted approval for Kingfisher Airlines to become part of the alliance, just weeks after the airline filed its request for authority to proceed, enabling Kingfisher Airlines and oneworld to move fast to complete the formal membership agreement.
A team of experts from British Airways – which is serving as Kingfisher Airlines’ oneworld sponsor, mentoring and supporting it through its joining programme – and from the central oneworld team has just returned from visiting their Kingfisher Airlines counterparts in Mumbai and Delhi to set its joining programme in motion. The first element has already been successfully accomplished with Kingfisher Airlines passing oneworld’s safety audit with flying colours.
The next step in building links between oneworld and Kingfisher Airlines takes place next month, with the opening of the new international passenger terminal at New Delhi, when all the alliance’s six carriers serving the Indian capital will share Kingfisher Airlines’ new premium passenger lounge.
Individual members of oneworld have also started developing bilateral co-operation with Kingfisher Airlines. British Airways this week announced it had reached agreement to code-share with its new Indian partner. The BA prefix will be added to flights by its Indian airline to various points across the Indian sub-continent, with Kingfisher Airlines’ IT designator placed on services operated by the UK carrier to key cities in Europe from later this month.
Once it is part of oneworld, members of Kingfisher Airlines’ King Club will be able to earn and redeem rewards and gain tier status points across the entire oneworld network. At the same time, Kingfisher Airlines’ network will be covered by oneworld’s market-leading range of alliance fares.
Kingfisher Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Vijay Mallya said: “I am delighted that Kingfisher Airlines has been invited to join what is very clearly the world’s best airline alliance and to fly alongside the best collection of airline brands in the world. By becoming part of oneworld, we will be able to offer our guests travel to more than 800 destinations in 150 countries, on a network that offers the best coverage of the routes and places that really count, flying with the highest quality airline partners. Joining oneworld will clearly strengthen our competitive position still further. Now that Kingfisher Airlines has become a member-elect of oneworld, we have moved one crucial step closer towards becoming a full-fledged member and our team will certainly do all that is necessary to ensure we complete the implementation programme smoothly and on schedule”.