It is official. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Kingfisher Airlines will become the first carrier from South Asia to become part of a global airline alliance when it joins oneworld® on Friday, February 10, 2012. The oneworld alliance consists of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, and S7 Airlines.
Kingfisher Airlines received its approvals this week, after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness, conducted by British Airways, a founder member of oneworld, which is also sponsoring Kingfisher’s entry into the alliance, with the oneworld central team.
2012 will be a banner year for the expansion of the oneworld alliance. Soon after Kingfisher, airberlin will join, followed by Malaysia Airlines later in the year.
Kingfisher’s addition will extend oneworld’s global coverage to nearly 800 destinations in almost 150 countries, served by almost 8,500 daily departures, operated by a combined fleet of more than 2,250 aircraft, carrying 305 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$94 billion.
This approval could not have come at a more opportune time for the financially struggling Indian carrier. The alliance will pump in a significant number of full service passengers in to the airline. The airline too will gain a boost from Indian passengers who fly overseas frequently as they stand to earn alliance miles and status on their domestic travel too.
Joining the alliance will also mean complete integration of Frequent Flier Programs (FFP) of all the oneworld partners with Kingfisher’s King Club program in terms of status, earning and redeeming miles.
King Club King Platinum cardholders will have oneworld Emerald status, King Club Gold members will gain oneworld Sapphire status, gaining them access to more than 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines. King Club Silver cardholders will have oneworld Ruby status.
Currently seven of oneworld member airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, serve five Indian gateway cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Kingfisher Airlines was invited to join oneworld in June 2010 after gaining approval from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation to become part of the alliance.