Kingfisher Airlines said it will become a part of oneworld, one of the premier global airline alliances. The first Indian airline to be a constituent of such an alliance, Kingfisher will become a member from 10 February 2012.

Kingfisher Airlines announced on Monday that it will become a full-time member of the global airline alliance, oneworld, from Feb 10, 2012.

Kingfisher will be the first carrier from the subcontinent to be a part of any international airline alliance. The Indian carrier is also first of three airlines to join oneworld in its largest membership expansion drive for five years, with airberlin set to join it shortly afterwards and Malaysia Airlines following later in the year.

Kingfisher Airlines said the development is expected to strengthen the carrier financially.

“It will strengthen us financially, through revenues from passengers transferring to our network from our oneworld partners and the cost reduction opportunities the alliance offers,” Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya was quoted in news reports.

“We will be flying as part of the worlds leading quality airline alliance – and the first carrier from the subcontinent to be accepted into any of the global airline groups,” he said.

The Indian airline was invited to be a part of the oneworld in 2010 after seeking an approval from the Indias civil aviation ministry. British Airways sponsored Kingfishers entry into the alliance.

Indian air travellers and international customers who seek cheap tickets on flights to India frequently have a cause to celebrate.

Apart from better connections, better services and possibly cheap flight tickets, the membership with oneworld will enable the Kingfishers frequent flyers club members to redeem their travel miles in other airlines of the consortium.

“Our King Club frequent flyers will have more opportunities to earn and redeem mileage rewards and enjoy all their other benefits,” Mallya stated in the companys press release.

Kingfisher to add to oneworlds network

Formed in 1999, oneworld is a consortium of 12 carriers, including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Finnair, among other prominent global airlines.

Kingfishers addition to the alliance will enhance oneworlds global coverage to nearly 800 airports in almost 150 countries, served by a total of almost 8,500 flights a day. The alliance has a combined fleet of more than 2,250 aircraft, carrying more than 300 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$94 billion.

And once airberlin and Malaysia Airlines join the group, oneworlds network will swell to more than 850 destinations.

Bruce Ashby, CEO oneworld said in a statement: “Kingfisher Airlines will expand oneworlds 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 looking forward to welcoming them to the oneworld alliance in February.”

Kingfisher is one of the leading names in the Indian aviation sector. The airline currently serves 54 destinations and nine countries. At present, seven of oneworlds airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian – offer flights to India. They serve several Indian gateways by offering flights to India – cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

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