Kingfisher revives overseas ambitions
The cooling of oil prices to around $40 a barrel from $147 a barrel in July has spurred Vijay Mallya to start Kingfisher Airlines’ international flights which were put on the backburner five months ago when fuel prices peaked, reports Lalatendu Mishra.india Updated: Dec 08, 2008 22:08 IST
The baron is spreading his wings again. The cooling of oil prices to around $40 a barrel from $147 a barrel in July has spurred Vijay Mallya to start Kingfisher Airlines’ international flights which were put on the backburner five months ago when fuel prices peaked.
Mallya has outlined an aggressive plan to launch international flights to London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Colombo from Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, beginning January.
The airline has officially announced the introduction of Mumbai-London flight starting January 5 and details for other flights have been put up on Kingisher’s Internet site.
The Mumbai-Hong Kong will start on January 12 while the Mumbai-Singapore sector will open on January 16. Wide-body A330-200 aircraft will be deployed on the London, Hong Kong and Singapore routes, company officials say.
Kingfisher has also finalised plans to launch flights from Bangalore and Chennai to Colombo from January 19.
Notably, Jet Airways with which Kingfisher has a code-sharing agreement is flying in all these international routes. It is not clear whether some flights will be operated jointly. Company spokespersons were not available for comment.
Currently, Kingfisher has only one international flight, which links Bangalore and London. The A330 flight started last September. Planes were idling as the market turned adverse.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has given permission to Kingfisher to fly in the Kolkata-Dhaka, Kolkata-Chittagong, Bangalore-Bangkok and Mumbai-Bangkok sectors. Schedules of these sectors will be announced in due course.
The airline is making huge losses. For the six months ended September, it reported a net loss of Rs 640 crore.