BY SANJEEV NAIR
May 8, 2005: True to
its image as the `King of Good Times',
Kingfisher Airlines has heralded a new era of
flying, that too in comfort and style and at
prices that lower are than existing fares in the
country. Kingfisher Airlines' first flight
took off from Mumbai on Monday, May 8 with first
light of the dawn.
One of the most important selling points of
Kingfisher Airlines is its prices, that are lower
at around 35 to 40 per cent, compared with
other carriers operating in the country. But don't
confuse Kingfisher with a low-budget
airline; the services on board are pegged as the
best available in the country.
The lowest ticket fare for Kingfisher Airlines is
Rs 3,900 for the Bangalore-Mumbai sector and the
one above is Rs 4,900. The highest comes for
is Rs 5,900. On the Bangalore-Delhi sector,
Kingfisher Airlines has priced the first slab at
Rs 6,900, the next at Rs 8,900 and the highest at
"It is one of the most important projects in my
career," the UB group Chairman, Vijay Mallya, said
during the pre-launch flight of the carrier.
Beauty flies high, literally. The highly-trained
and 'beautiful' cabin crew have been termed
"walking models in the air" by none other than the
flamboyant Mallya. The crew
onboard Kingfisher Funliner -- as Mallya terms his
planes -- have been handpicked by the UB
Group chairman himself, who had also approved of
the training programme they underwent.
Mallya also says he has instructed the Kingfisher
Airlines crew to treat every guest "in the same
way as if they have visited my home."
The Kingfisher stewardess' uniforms - a
combination of red and white, which falls in
harmony with the red and white insignia of the
carrier - were designed by none other than
Manoviraj Khosla, one of the top designers in the
Kingfisher, in spite of being a class-in-itself
airline, makes no differences between business and
economy class. Putting it simply, Mallya
says that "Unlike other domestic carriers,
Kingfisher Airlines will have only one class,
carrier's in-flight entertainment is the expected
to be the biggest crowd-puller, as it
would be the only one airliner ferrying in the
domestic sector having an in-cabin
All Kingfisher aircraft have been equipped with
a personal video screen for every seat, with 10
channels of audio and five channels of video in
every seat screen, that too with personalised
headphones. Even though in-flight entertainment
is the norm in international flights, this is
the first time an Indian airline servicing only on
domestic sectors provided this kind of
Kingfisher Airlines has chosen a spacious
layout for its A320-200 aircraft with a wider
30-inch seat pitch and larger overhead bins,
allowing maximum passenger comfort. It also claims
to have the widest seat among airlines in the
A bit of surprise and glamour is the last thing
a passenger expects on a domestic flight.
Kingfisher Airlines has roped in celebrities
including Yana Gupta, Vidisha Pavate and Atul
Kasbekar, who would hop onto any one of the
carrier's filghts, mingle with the guests and pick
one of them for a special gift.
lucky passenger will be crowned as the `High Flyer
of the Month'. The chosen passenger also receives
a free makeover from stylist Cory Walia, a
portfolio shoot by ace lensman Atul Kasbekar and a
wardrobe from Manoviraj Khosla.
"I am often referred to as the ‘King of Good
Times’ and I truly believe that you should share
this experience with me. On a more serious
note, I log many air miles myself in
pursuit of my goals and I am sure that you do
too," Mallya says in a message.
"It is my passion to deliver the best of good
times. After all, work and play can go hand in
hand. I am sure that you have several pressing
commitments and stressful work obligations. Like
me, you also need some time to chill with the King
of Good Times," he adds.
King of Good Times was a catchline written for UB
Group's largest beer brand, Kingfisher.
Kingfisher is the first private Indian airline
to commence operations with a brand new aircraft,
A 320, which is recognised among the benchmark
single-aisle aircraft family and is the preferred
choice of full-service carriers.
The A 320 family is quieter and more
environmentally friendly than older generation
engines and provide outstanding range and
A total of 33 brand new Airbus aircraft are on
order by Kingfisher Airlines - 10 A320s and
three A319s are on firm order, with options for
buying a further 20 aircraft. In addition to
the first aircraft being introduced in May 2005,
Kingfisher Airlines will introduce a new A320-232
aircraft every month during the remainder of 2005.
By January 2006, Kingfisher Airlines' fleet will
comprise 12 aircraft.
aircraft are powered by International Aero Engines
(IAE) V2500-A5, which are slated to be
silent and more efficient, apart from being fuel
Kingfisher Airlines fleet would feature an
advanced Airborne Communications Addressing and
Reporting System - ACCARS - that will continuously
monitor and keep watch over every aircraft, even
while it is in flight.
This is the first private carrier in the
country to be equipped with ACCARS. This system,
combined with centralised flight dispatch, would
enable better all round management. The airlines
would also enjoy a technical edge on account of
its unique fleet specifications, and combined with
new-plane reliability, guests can expect
unparalleled on-time performance.
All Kingfisher aircraft will be equipped with an
automated external defibrillator, a simple
device used to treat sudden cardiac arrest and all
aircraft would also feature a paperless cockpit, a
first of its kind in the sector.
Kingfisher Airlines is a wholly-owned subsidiary
of United Breweries Holdings Ltd, UB Group's
investments holding company. The UB Group is one
of India's largest conglomerates with a turnover
of $2 billion and is the largest Indian
manufacturer of beverages and alcohol.
"Leave the stress of daily life behind and enjoy
the good times with Kingfisher Airlines. I have
tried very hard to build an airline that meets
your expectations," Mallya says.
However, if you have a grievance of if you
think Mallya has missed something, or if he
"falls short of your expectations" mail him
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To quote Mallya again, "when you are happy, fly
BY SANJEEV NAIR