Kingfisher to join Oneworld in February

19 Dec 2011 by BusinessTraveller

Kingfisher Airlines is to officially join Oneworld on February 10, 2012, becoming the first Indian carrier to join one of the three major airline alliances.

From this date members of Kingfisher’s King Club loyalty scheme will be able to earn and burn miles across Oneworld carriers, and Gold and Platinum cardholders will benefit from Sapphire and Emerald Oneworld status respectively.

The carrier has been sponsored through the joining process by Oneworld founding member British Airways.

Kingfisher started operations in 2005, and has yet to post a profit, with the carrier last month being forced to suspend around 40 unprofitable routes (see online news November 12).

The BBC is also reporting that the carrier has been forced to ground 15 aircraft this week, with the Economic Times reporting that Kingfisher is struggling to pay maintenance costs.

Oneworld is set to inaugurate three carriers into the alliance next year, with Air Berlin and Malaysia Airlines set to join the fold.

It’s not clear whether today’s news that Etihad is to take a 29 per cent stake in Air Berlin, and integrate its Topbonus loyalty scheme into the Etihad Guest programme, will affect Air Berlin’s inauguration into the Oneworld alliance.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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