Loss-making Indian airline, Kingfisher, will officially join the oneworld alliance on February 10, 2012, it was announced today. The airline’s ascension into the alliance has been supported by British Airways, which says it has “just completed a thorough review of Kingfisher’s processes and procedures.”
Meanwhile, India’s Economic Times today reported that the airline has been forced to ground 15 aircraft, including its A330s, after it was unable to pay its maintenance bills.
But, help is at hand for the struggling airline. India’s State Bank has promised to lend yet more funds to the airline, according to the Economic Times, with the bank’s chairman quoted as saying “everything is on the table”.
Entry into the oneworld alliance couldn’t come any sooner for Kingfisher, which has never delivered a profit since its launch. It is the first Indian carrier to join an alliance after Air India, another loss-maker, failed to get its act together to join Star Alliance.
Oneworld has reason to celebrate as it becomes the first alliance to snag a Indian member, but will Kingfisher's massive financial problems dampen the long-term benefit to the arrangement? And will the oneworld carriers really help Kingfisher deliver a profit and dig itself out of its current mess?