Kingfisher Airlines stated (19-Dec-2011) it will become part of oneworld, effective 10-Feb-2012. It will be the first carrier from the subcontinent to join any of the global airline groups and the first of three airlines to join oneworld in its largest membership expansion drive for five years, with airberlin set to follow it shortly afterwards and Malaysia Airlines joining later in the year. Details include:
- Approvals: Kingfisher Airlines received its green light to board oneworld this week after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by British Airways, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the oneworld central team. Kingfisher Airlines was invited to join oneworld in Jun-2010 after gaining approval from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation to become part of the alliance. Its alliance implementation programme has represented "one of the most extensive projects in its history" it said, with working groups covering around 35 streams of activity. Projects are nearing completion to bring Kingfisher Airlines’ various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and extensive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at Kingfisher Airlines and the alliance’s existing members;
- Kingfisher/India network: Kingfisher's network, currently serving 54 destinations and nine countries, will add more than 40 destinations to the alliance’s network, all of them in India, which is the world’s second most populous market and forecast to be the world’s second biggest economy within two decades. Its middle class population is expected to grow tenfold by 2025 – to nearly 600 million. Currently seven of oneworld’s established airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian – serve five Indian gateways, in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad;
- oneworld coverage: Kingfisher's addition will extend oneworld’s global coverage to nearly 800 destinations in almost 150 countries, served by a total of almost 8500 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of more than 2250 aircraft, carrying 305 million passengers per year, with annual revenues of USD94 billion. With the future additions of airberlin and Malaysia Airlines, the oneworld network will expand to more than 850 destinations;
- FFP: When Kingfisher Airlines joins, members of its King Club frequent flyer programme (FFP) will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all oneworld partners – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and almost 20 affiliated airlines. FFP reciprocity between Kingfisher Airlines and LAN will be implemented shortly after Kingfisher Airlines joins oneworld due to LAN's impending migration of its main information technology platform. [more - original PR]
According to reports in The Business Standard, Kingfisher is expecting at least a 5% increase in revenue through codeshare agreements with partner airlines. There will also be cost savings through common use of inventories and joint purchases.
oneworld: “Kingfisher Airlines will expand oneworld’s network substantially in a key region of growing travel demand, with a carrier that matches our demanding requirements, while enabling Kingfisher Airlines to offer its customers a truly global network on quality partners. We are look forward to welcoming them to the oneworld alliance in February," Bruce Ashby, CEO. Source: Company statement, 19-Dec-2011.
Kingfisher Airlines: “By becoming part of oneworld in February, we will be flying as part of the world’s leading quality airline alliance – and the first carrier from the subcontinent to be accepted into any of the global airline groups. Becoming part of oneworld will be one of the most significant steps in Kingfisher Airlines’ history. It will enable us to offer our customers a truly global network served by partners who include some of the best known and most admired airlines in the world, while our King Club frequent flyers will have more opportunities to earn and redeem mileage rewards and enjoy all their other benefits. 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," Vijay Mallya, chairman. Source: Company statement, 19-Dec-2011.