Kingfisher not part of 'oneworld' alliance: Horton
Cape Town: Grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines is no longer part of global carriers' alliance 'oneworld' which does not have any plans to induct any Indian carrier as of now, a top official said today.
"Kingfisher is not operational. Therefore, it is not an active participant of 'oneworld' any more," Tom Horton, Chairman of 'oneworld' and American Airways' chief, said on the sidelines of IATA's annual general meeting here.
Asked whether the alliance had any plans to induct Indian carriers especially the no-frill ones, he said there were "no immediate plans' for induction from India and there were no ongoing discussions with any Indian airline.
"We have an important presence in the Indian subcontinent through our member carriers like Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines flying into India," Horton said, adding that Etihad Airways was also being extended an invitation to join the alliance.
Following its suspension by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for failure to clear dues last year, Kingfisher Airlines agreed with the global alliance to defer joining 'oneworld'. It was slated to formally join the alliance last February.
The IATA suspended Kingfisher from its Geneva-based clearing house (ICH) due to non-payment of dues to airline members.
Global carriers' alliance 'oneworld' includes world's leading airlines and 30 affiliated carriers, like American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines (JAL), Qantas and Royal Jordanian. Together, these airlines operate nearly 10,000 daily flights to more than 800 destinations across the globe.
Last year, 'oneworld' CEO Bruce Ashby had said, "these are turbulent times for the airline industry in India and in many other parts of the world. We have been working closely with Kingfisher over the past months and it has become increasingly clear recently that the airline needs more time to resolve the financial issues it is confronting before it can be welcomed into oneworld."
He had then said the alliance would set a new joining date for Kingfisher, "once it is through this current period of turbulence".
However, the latest statement by Horton indicates that the entry of the Indian carrier into the alliance is a closed chapter.