American Airlines and the oneworld Alliance is welcoming a major new international partner, Kingfisher Airlines, the largest airline in India. Kingfisher Airlines carried 10.9 million passengers in the financial year ending March 31, 2009 with a share of 27 percent of the domestic Indian air travel market.
Kingfisher’s addition to the alliance, subject to Indian regulatory approval and targeted for 2011, will link India’s most extensive domestic network with oneworld – the only alliance with airlines based on every continent. This will expand oneworld’s network to nearly 800 destinations in almost 150 countries.
For American’s customers, the addition of Kingfisher expands travel options to 58 new cities in Asia – all of them in India. Now travel to such destinations as Mumbai and Bangalore is just a connection away. These new routes complement American’s existing nonstop service to Delhi from Chicago and enhance the airline’s strategy to bolster its domestic network in the cornerstone markets of Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles – all critical international gateways.
In recent weeks American said it has taken steps to expand its global network by forging closer ties and requesting antitrust immunity (ATI) from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with fellow oneworld member Japan Airlines as well as receiving tentative approval from the DOT for its ATI request with fellow oneworld members British Airways, Iberia Airlines, Finnair and RoyalJordanian .
These developments – boosted by American’s cornerstone strategy – will increase competition and customer benefits while positioning American for future growth in the all-important transatlantic and transpacific markets, AA says.
Established oneworld members American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian already serve five gateways in India between them – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
“Because no single airline can take every customer every place he or she wants to go it is critical for business and leisure travelers to have access to the finest collection of airline partners and networks, and that is exactly what oneworld delivers,” Gerard Arpey, chairman and CEO of American Airlines and Chairman of the Governing Board of oneworld.