Kingfisher to Join oneworldBack to Forum
Anonymous23 Feb 2010
Some exciting news for oneworld, which has been one of the slower alliances in growth terms.
Kingfisher to join shortly:
Tuesday, 23 February 2010: India’s leading domestic carrier and only five-star airline, Kingfisher Airlines, is lining up to join oneworld ® after signing a memorandum of understanding as its first step towards full membership of the world’s leading quality airline alliance, subject to Indian regulatory approval.
The agreement was concluded at a meeting between Kingfisher Airlines’ Chairman Vijay Mallya and Chief Executives from oneworld’s 11 existing member airlines, which include some of the best and biggest names in the industry.
Kingfisher Airlines today applied to India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation for authority to proceed with its membership of oneworld.
A target date for Kingfisher Airlines to join the alliance will be confirmed once this approval is gained. The process to bring any airline on board normally takes around 18 months to complete, so Kingfisher Airlines could be expected to start flying as part of oneworld during 2011.23 Feb 2010
Good news indeed. I have enjoyed flying Kingfisher domestically for a number of years now (I have found their Y class equal to or better than many European carriers’ short-haul J class) and will now enjoy doing so on some of my frequent trips to India from LHR (whilst still earning BA or AA credit!).23 Feb 2010
Good news for OneWorld especially as Air India are joining Star.
I was wondering when and who but to be honest had expected Jet Airways to be the option as they are already linked to QF (code shares to India) as well as AA and CX.
Still having additional access to the 58 additional Indian cities and being able to earn points will be a plus point.23 Feb 2010
Excellent news indeed.
One thing I had noticed is how the liberalisation of the Indian aviation sector had seen competition on quality arise (given the standards Air India is sadly known by it isn’t surprising). It is clear that the likes of Kingfisher and Jet both aim, with hard and soft product, to win people over for being good quality airlines.
The contrast with US carriers is telling, perhaps reflecting India’s core airline market being middle class aspirationally driven people who appreciate quality, whereas in the US growth has been driven by LCCs making point to point travel as cheap as possible.23 Feb 2010
I think it’s just different stages of market development; you only have to take a look at some of the historical photographs of the interior lounges on Continental’s 747 domestic services to see what luxuries were offered when air travel first “took off” in the US:
I only flew on Braniff twice (never on their Concorde service), but it was a memorably excellent carrier in its early days:23 Feb 2010
jet airways is confused. They think they can survive on the emirates model. did succeed for a while but the recession got them into trouble.Now they are just in the leasing buisness.THey have leased most of the 777 to who ever they can find.Now they can only join sky team23 Feb 2010
Certainly not on the routes I ply, VK (normally BOM to DEL or BOM to MAA). Very much a 2 class service (noting that the pointy end is First, not Business…).
The service starts when you get out of the taxi at the airport, with a porter who runs up to you to ask if you are travelling Kingfisher. If so (regardless if you are flying economy or premium), the porter takes your bags to check-in and then doesn’t even fish for a tip! Once on board (in Economy), water (in a bottle) is serrved prior to take-off, along with a hard candy. I don’t even get this type of service whilst flying Club Europe (my flight ARN – LHR 2 weeks ago, for example, didn’t see any drinks until 30 minutes after wheels-up.).
Kingfisher’s economy pricing (for domestic flights) tends to be some 15% higher than the no-frills competitors (Spicejet, Indigo, Jetlite, GoAir) however the flights seem to always have a very good load factor. In addition to the in-flight entertainment (headphones free for Y pax) the airline’s owner, Vijay Mallya (a real Richard Branson type) makes an announcement and encourages anyone with suggestions/comments to email him “personally.” The last time I remember any airline chief doing anything similar is when the black book used to be passed around the Upper Class of Virgin (soliciting feedback). A colleague of mine actually had Richard Branson call him personally to follow up on one of his comments.
Again, I think Kingfisher will be a much-welcomed addition to OneWorld.24 Feb 2010
So poor old Kingfisher has had the drawbridge raised – pretty much at the last minute, since they were due to join oneworld within a week of the announcement of that being postponed. I am not sure I understand the reasoning for this – after all, Mexicana has gone spectacularly bust and stopped operating, Malev ditto, American Airlines has gone into Chapter 11… At least Kingfisher isn’t in bankruptcy and is still flying (albeit somewhat reduced over the last months).
Strangest of all, the Economic Times of India estimated that joining oneworld would allow Kingfisher to boost earnings by 5 percent so postponing entry would seem to cut off some additional revenue. So why the postponement? One cannot help wondering if this means that Kingfisher and oneworld have recognised that bankruptcy is virtually inevitable and oneworld wants to avoid the embarrassment and publicity of a fourth member going to the bankruptcy courts.6 Feb 2012
Thanks for your post Ian_From_HKG. It’s quite simple. Kingfisher is no longer a member of the IATA Clearing House. One of the selling points of any alliance is that members accept each others tickets.”
Alex McWhirter6 Feb 2012
Thanks, Alex – but if that is the case, why an indefinite postponement and the statements by Kingfisher referencing their recapitalisation efforts? Surely recapitalisation wouldn’t be a prerequisite to rejoining the clearing house?7 Feb 2012
We were once given a talk at a BSCC event in Geneva from the CEO (I think) of IATA.
Rather like a bank, if BA say owe 10m to Quantas, and Quantas owe 11m to BA, then BA will receive the difference of 1m. If BA in turn owe 1m to say Swiss, then BA will get nothing as that 1m will be paid to Swiss and so on.
It’s a bit simplistically put but that is why an airlines market capitalization is important since if Kingfisher were running a negative capitalisation, in many countries it would be regarded as being bankrupt.
IATA have to know an airline is financially capable of meetings its financial obligations and this is why it’s balance sheet is such an important factor in approving and maintaining membership.7 Feb 2012
I agree, Ian. I think it looks very difficult for Kingfisher to survive, despite its recapitalisation efforts. It will be likely to be elThere is a lot of competition in the Indian aviation market. In addition to the full service carriers like Jet and Air India/Indian Airlines, there are lots of LCCs such as SpiceJet, IndiGo and Jet Lite. Kingfisher was once excellent, but its very wobbly now.
OW needs a reliable Indian member given India’s huge internal routes and the massive growth of business.7 Feb 2012