8-Jun-2010 10:01 AM

Kingfisher becomes member-elect of oneworld

Kingfisher Airlines officially became a member-elect of oneworld on 07-Jun-2010, completing a formal membership agreement with the alliance. The agreement follows the signing of a MoU between the airline and alliance, which comprises 12 partners and members elect, in Feb-2010. Additional details include:

  • Approvals for alliance members: The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted approval for the carrier to become part of the alliance, a key condition for oneworld membership. Kingfisher has also passed oneworld's safety audit;
  • oneworld sponsor: British Airways is serving as Kingfisher's oneworld sponsor and will provide mentoring and support through its joining programme;
  • First element of cooperation: From Jul-2010, upon the opening of the new international passenger terminal at New Delhi,  all the alliance's six carriers serving the Indian capital will share Kingfisher's new premium passenger lounge;
  • Bilateral cooperation: Individual members of oneworld have started developing bilateral co-operation with Kingfisher. Notably British Airways has reached agreement to codeshare with its new  partner. Under the agreement, the BA prefix will be added to Kingfisher services to various points across the Indian sub-continent, with Kingfisher's designator placed on services operated by the UK carrier to key cities in Europe from later this month. Full details will be announced nearer to the launch of these code-share operations;
  • Joining date: A firm date for Kingfisher to join the alliance and start offering its services and benefits will be announced as its implementation programme progresses. oneworld commented that the process to bring any airline on board any alliance normally takes 18 to 24 months to complete, adding, "it is a complex project, covering virtually every facet of airline activity. It involves connecting all the alliance recruit's IT systems to those in all other oneworld airlines, bringing its customer service, frequent flyer and distrubtion processes into line with oneworld standards and culminating in what will be the biggest training and communications programmes in the airline's history";
  • Kingfisher's addition to oneworld: Will bring 56 cities onto the oneworld map, all in India. This will expand oneworld's global coverage to more than 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 p/a;
  • Livery changes: When it joins, the oneworld logo will be added alongside that of Kingfisher wherever it appears, from its aircraft fuselages, to airport signage, stationery and even name tags; 
  • Frequenty flyer benefits: Once it is part of oneworld, members of Kingfisher's King Club will be able to earn and redeem rewards and gain tier status points across the entire oneworld network. King Club benefits will also be extended to access alliance carrier lounges. At the same time, Kingfisher's network will be covered by oneworld's market-leading range of alliance fares;
  • Additional oneworld membership: S7 Airlines is on track to join oneworld later this year. [more]

Kingfisher Airlines: "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 now 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,"  Vijay Mallya, Chairman and CEO. Source: Company Statement, 07-Jun-2010.

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