Exclusive: Kingfisher to serve Heathrow this summer

7 Mar 2008 by Mark Caswell

Indian airline Kingfisher is hardly known outside its own country, but the situation is set to change later this year when the Bangalore-based carrier spreads its wings overseas for the first time.

The airline has already said it will launch daily non-stop flights from Bangalore to San Francisco and New York Newark or JFK starting towards the end of August. And Business Traveller can now reveal that at around the same time, Kingfisher will commence flights to London Heathrow where slots have already been obtained. The carrier will be using Heathrow’s Terminal 4, with its single daily flight expected to arrive in the early afternoon and return in the evening.

The innovative carrier has promised a socialising area in first class and a stand-up bar in economy. It has a good reputation for service.

Kingfisher will operate its US flights using ultra-long-range three-class Airbus A340-500s, while flights to London will be operated by an A330.

Kingfisher, which is owned by Indian drinks firm UB Group, has ambitious expansion plans. It has ordered a fleet of 71 planes from Airbus (including five A380 superjumbos) for both long and short-haul routes. Some 24 planes (comprising A320s) included in this order have already been delivered and currently operate domestic routes.

There are various regulatory requirements which Kingfisher must meet before it can launch international flights. The airline is expected to announce route details officially in early April.

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Report by Alex McWhirter

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