In a big blow to the recovery plans of Kingfisher Airlines,a leading global grouping of airlines,Oneworld,has put its entry on hold indefinitely owing to its financially precarious condition.
In a statement issued by Kingfisher,liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned airline said,”Oneworld today agreed to put the airlines entry into the alliance on hold to give it time to strengthen its financial position.” The beleaguered carrier was set to join the alliance on February 10.
Oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: 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.”
Such a grouping allows member-airlines to sell each others’ tickets,arrive on code-sharing agreements and offer seamless connectivity through the group’s network. The global alliance said a new date of joining could be set only when the airline is “through this current period of turbulence.
Mallya said: “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.” The carrier,which has accumulated losses over Rs 4,283 crore till date with one-third of its fleet has been grounded. The Airline has approached the government for help with lenders. A recent financial audit by the air safety regulator found the several glaring lapses and called it to be a fit case for cancellation of its licence.