Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding which will pave the way for it to join the oneworld alliance.
“Becoming part of oneworld would be one of our most significant steps so far – and is right in line with our vision to become one of the world’s top airlines,” said Kingfisher chairman and CEO Vijay Mallya. “It will enable us to offer our guests a truly global network served by partners who include some of the best known and most admired airlines in the world, with frequent flyer benefits extended throughout this network.”
The Indian carrier’s application to join the alliance is being sponsored by British Airways, which is expected to form a significant alliance with Kingfisher which could include codesharing on domestic Indian services. If it is successful, Kingfisher will be the first Indian airline to join the alliance.
Kingfisher currently operates a fleet of Airbus A320 Family and A330-200 aircraft, as well as ATR 72s. The airline primarily flies on routes within India, with international services to Dubai, London and Hong Kong. Founded in 2005, it is owned by UB Group, which also brews Kingfisher Beer.
Qantas, which is a oneworld member, currently has a strong relationship with Jet Airways on Indian routes, which is currently moving towards the competing Star Alliance. However, it is not known if this relationship will be affected by Kingfisher joining oneworld.