Indian carrier Kingfisher has signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for the airline to join the Oneworld alliance.
As originally posted on our forum earlier today, the agreement is subject to Indian regulatory approval, and no target date has yet been set for the airline’s inauguration. However Oneworld said that the process “normally takes around 18 months to complete, so Kingfisher Airlines could be expected to start flying as part of Oneworld during 2011”.
Assuming regulatory approval is granted, Kingfisher will add 58 Indian cities to the Oneworld network, along with flights to the UK from Mumbai, and a forthcoming route from Delhi (see online news February 17). The carrier will be sponsored throughout the implementation process by Oneworld founder member British Airways.
None of the three major alliances (Skyteam, Star Alliance and Oneworld) currently count an Indian carrier within their membership, although Star Alliance announced sometime ago that Air India would be joining its fold, with the latest date for inauguration being late 2010. This leaves Jet Airways as the only major Indian carrier not to have aligned itself with an alliance.
Oneworld currently has 11 full members and around 20 affiliates, with Russian carrier S7 Airlines also due to join later this year.
Report by Mark Caswell