Kingfisher signs initial pact to join oneworld alliance


NEW DELHI — Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. said Tuesday it has signed an initial pact to join the oneworld alliance, comprising 11 global carriers such as American Airlines and British Airways.

Kingfisher, controlled by billionaire Vijay Mallya, also applied to India’s civil aviation ministry to seek approval for its membership of Oneworld, India’s biggest airline by market share said.

“A target date for Kingfisher Airlines to join the alliance will be confirmed once this approval is gained,” the airline said. “The process to bring any airline on board normally takes around 18 months to complete, so Kingfisher Airlines could be expected to start flying as part of oneworld during 2011.”

Other members of the alliance include Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas.

Kingfisher said its membership will add 58 cities in India to the oneworld network, expanding the alliance’s total network to 800 destinations in nearly 150 countries.

Joining the alliance will “strengthen us financially, through revenues from passengers transferring to our network from our oneworld partners and the cost-reduction opportunities the alliance offers,” Mr. Mallya said.