BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT
2005: Kingfisher Airlines floated by Liquor
baron Vijay Mallya spreads wings on May 9, 2005,
with its first flight taking off from Mumbai to
Delhi at the first light of the dawn.
The private carrier received operational permit
from Civil Aviation Ministry on Wednesday,
recognising it as a scheduled carrier and enabling
it to launch flights from Monday next.
Kingfisher Airlines' first flight will take off at
0605 hours from Mumbai, and besides Mumbai-Delhi
operations, it will launch three flights a week
between Mumbai and Bangalore and three more
between Delhi and Bangalore.
However, unlike many others waiting in the wings,
Kingfisher Airlines is not a low-budget carrier.
Vijay Mallya has said that the airline will be
hailed for its quality and reliability and
"unparalleled in-flight experience". Kingfisher's
aircraft will have an all-economy configuration
and provide prices lower than other competing
Kingfisher had taken the delivery of first of its
four A-320 aircraft from Airbus Industrie on
lease. The aircraft was taken on lease from
Airbus' assembly line in Toulouse, France. This is
the first instance ever of a private Indian
carrier taking delivery of brand new aircraft to
commence commercial operations.
Kingfisher Airlines has also placed firm orders
for 10 Airbus A-320s, in addition to a purchase
option of 20 more aircraft. The airline has also
ordered three A319s, with deliveries expected to
begin in September and December.
With the planned deliveries, the new private
carrier plans to have a fleet of 12 aircraft by
January next year.
Moreover, Viay Mallya is gung-ho about his airline
and expects it to be the largest in India both in
capacity and market share by 2010.
“Having invested in the best-in-class fleet of
aircraft, we are committed to achieving our
ambition of making Kingfisher Airlines, India's
largest private airline both in capacity and
market share by 2010," Mallya said.
"We expect Kingfisher Airlines to be profitable in
the very first year of operation given its
strategic approach to control costs, deployment of
technology and outsourcing," he said.
Kingfisher has also entered into a breakthrough
agreement with Indian Airlines, making it the
first public-private- partnership in the sector.
Under this partnership, IA would provide all
ground handling services at its terminals in
Mumbai and Delhi will allow Kingfisher Airlines to
efficiently manage investments and overhead costs.
The partnership encompasses a host of areas like
mutual assistance on account of cockpit
commonality and over a period of time will expand
to cover engineering and schedule coordination. It
ensures that Indian Airlines makes incremental
returns on its existing infrastructure.
Kingfisher Airlines fleet will 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. Kingfisher Airlines is the first
private carrier in India to be equipped with
ACCARS. This system, combined with centralized
flight dispatch, will enable better management all
Kingfisher Airlines is a wholly-owned subsidiary
of United Breweries Holdings Ltd, the UB Group's
investments holding company. The Airline has been
allocated the IATA airline code of 'IT'. The UB
Group is one of India's largest conglomerates with
a turnover of $2 billion and is the largest Indian
manufacturer of beverage alcohol, beer and liquor.
BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT