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Feb 23, 2010
India's Kingfisher Airlines set to join oneworld alliance

Tokyo, February 23, 2010: India’s leading domestic carrier and only five-star airline, Kingfisher Airlines, is lining up to join oneworld® - the quality airline alliance in which Japan Airlines (JAL) belong, after signing a memorandum of understanding as its first step towards full membership, subject to Indian regulatory approval. Kingfisher Airlines today applied to India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation for authority to proceed with its membership of oneworld.

British Airways will support Kingfisher Airlines through its alliance implementation program, as its oneworld sponsor and Kingfisher Airlines could be expected to start flying as part of oneworld during 2011.

1.jpgKingfisher Airlines’ addition to oneworld will link India’s most extensive domestic network with oneworld’s unrivalled global network, as the only alliance with airlines based on every continent. It will add 58 cities to the oneworld map - all of them in India and this will expand oneworld’s network to 800 destinations in almost 150 countries, served by a combined fleet of 2,350 aircraft operating some 9,000 flights a day, carrying some 340 million passengers a year.

JAL and its oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qantas and Royal Jordanian already serve five gateways in India between them - Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Kingfisher Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Vijay Mallya said: “Kingfisher Airlines is proud to be lining up to join the world’s leading quality global airline 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. 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.  It will also strengthen us financially, through revenues from passengers transferring to our network from our oneworld partners and the cost reduction opportunities the alliance offers.”

oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch added: “Last February oneworld celebrated its 10th birthday. This February we’ve been able to celebrate Japan Airlines’ reaffirmation of its oneworld membership, its filing for anti-trust immunity across the Pacific with American Airlines, tentative approval in the US for anti-trust immunity for our transatlantic partners and in Australia for British Airways and Qantas’ joint services agreement on the kangaroo route between Europe and Australia - and now we are welcoming Kingfisher Airlines on board. Kingfisher Airlines will fill one of oneworld’s few remaining membership spaces with a carrier that matches our alliance’s demanding requirements, benefiting customers by expanding our global reach and helping us ensure oneworld remains the pre-eminent global alliance with members unmatched in brand and service quality.” 

About Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher Airlines carried 10.9 million passengers in the financial year ended 31 March 2009 with a share of 27 per cent of the domestic Indian air travel market. For the nine months to 31 December 2009, it carried 8.2 million passengers.

It is India's only five star airline, as rated by Skytrax, the independent airline quality research organization. Besides being the first and only airline in India to offer in-flight entertainment at every seat, Kingfisher Airlines offers Live TV with 16 channels. It has received numerous awards for innovation, customer responsiveness and was voted the “Best New Airline of the Year”, within months of its launch.  It covers all segments of air travel - from low fares to premium service.

The 58 destinations across India that Kingfisher Airlines will add to the  oneworld map include Agartala, Agatti, Agra, Ahmedabad, Aizwal, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bagdogra, Bhavnagar, Bhubaneswar, Bhuj, Calicut, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Dharamsala, Goa, Guwahati, Hubli, Imphal, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jammu, Jodhpur, Kandla, Khajuraho, Kochi, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Kullu, Latur, Leh, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Nagpur, Nanded, Nasik, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Rajahmundry, Ranchi, Salem, Sholapur, Silchar, Simla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trichy, Trivandrum, Tuticorin, Udaipur, Varanasi, Vijayawada, and Vishakapatnam.

Kingfisher Airlines’ network has been covered since 1 June 2009 by the Global Explorer round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld member airlines and selected carriers that are not part of the alliance.

About oneworld

oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Russia’s S7 Airlines will join the alliance in 2010 with Kingfisher now on track to follow during 2011.  Between them, these airlines:

Serve 800 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 9,000 daily departures.

Offer nearly 550 airport lounges for premium customers.

Carry some 340 million passengers a year on a fleet of almost 2,500 aircraft.

Generate more than US$100 billion annual revenues in total.

It is the only alliance with any airlines based in South America, Australia or Asia’s Middle East, and which enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.

oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the seventh year running in the latest (2009) World Travel Awards. It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.

Pictures

A selection of print quality images of Kingfisher Airlines and its logo can be downloaded from www.oneworld.com/ow/news-and-information/gallery/list?categoryID=5&subCategoryID=33

A selection of print quality images and logos for oneworld and its existing member airlines can be downloaded from

www.oneworld.com/ow/news-and-information/corporate-image-gallery

Media Contact:

oneworld

Michael Blunt, VP Corporate Communications | Tel: +44 7711 997487 | Email: mblunt@oneworld.com

Kingfisher Airlines

Prakash Mirpuri VP Corporate Communications | Tel: +91 22 2282 4156 | media@flykingfisher.com

END

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