Friday, February 3, 2012

Breaking! Oneworld Kingfisher defer entry to alliance

Neelam Mathews
Feb 3 , 2012

The news is not good on the Kingfisher front. “Oneworld and Kingfisher have deferred the date –Feb 10 – slated for Kingfisher’s entry into the alliance. No new date has been given. It is not clear which way the fortunes of the carrier will run.

One is surprised to see the decision has come so close to the joining date.

This follows close on the heels of Kingfisher being suspended by the clearing house of IATA. This in effect means, Kingfisher can no longer sell joint tickets with any IATA carrier. It is not confirmed, but this could also mean blacklisting by IATA unless the money is paid in the required time.

IATA Billing Settlement Plan gives a credit period of 45 days.

In a press release, oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: "These are turbulent times for the airline industry in India and many other parts of the world.  We have been working closely with Kingfisher Airlines 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. 
"We wish it well during this process and will work with Kingfisher Airlines with the aim of setting a new joining date once it is through this current period of turbulence."

Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya added:  "In light of the many priorities centred around Kingfisher Airlines' recapitalisation efforts, we felt it prudent to defer our entry into the alliance for a little while. This will allow us the opportunity to focus on the issues at hand and we look forward to being part of the oneworld alliance very shortly."

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