MUMBAI, India – Kingfisher Airlines on Monday said it would become a full-time member of the global airline alliance, oneworld, from Feb 10, 2012. The move 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,” said Chairman Vijay Mallya.
“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,” he said in a statement.
The airline is suffering from a severe financial crunch, which forced it to shut budget services, reducing its daily flight operations.
According to Mallya, the membership with oneworld will allow the carrier’s frequent flyers club members to redeem their travel points in other airlines in oneworld.
“Our ‘King Club’ frequent flyers’ will have more opportunities to earn and redeem mileage rewards and enjoy all their other benefits,” Mallya said.
Global interline packs like oneworld and Star Alliance entail several benefits to member carriers like improved product offering, better service standards, access to new markets and premium customers and partnership with leading global carriers.
Formed in 1999, oneworld is a consortium of 12 airlines, including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Finnair, among other major airlines of the world.
“Kingfisher Airlines will expand oneworld’s network substantially in a key region of growing travel demand, while enabling Kingfisher Airlines to offer its customers a truly global network on quality partners,” said Bruce Ashby, chief executive, oneworld.
Kingfisher Airlines was invited to join oneworld in June 2010 after gaining approval from India’s civil aviation ministry to become part of the alliance. British Airways sponsored Kingfisher’s entry into the alliance.