Kingfisher Airlines entry to oneworld ‘on hold’

Kingfisher had announced to the world that it was going to be a oneworld member, and then, a familiar scenario happened which reminded of Air India stopping short of joining Star Alliance last minute.

In a not so surprising move, Kingfisher Airlines entry to the oneworld alliance, which was supposed to become a full-member as of 10th February 2012, has been put on hold. What this means is that the airline and alliance have agreed to postpone the entry into OW till the time Kingfisher could find a way out of its financial mess. While the whole situation around Kingfisher was known long back, I cannot figure out what takes such decisions to come out at the last minute? This happened a few hours after Malev, another oneworld airline shut down just this morning.

The oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby minced no words in the press statement:

These are turbulent times for the airline industry in India and many other parts of the world.  We have been working closely with Kingfisher Airlines 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.

The last line quite gives you a signal of what is next. oneworld, however, is turning into a bagful of sick airlines, so I don’t know what they’d do about American Airlines, Mexicana and Malaysia Airlines (scheduled to join) which are all in trouble too! This is a bad sign for them, since they were not only the smallest alliance, but not being able to expand fast enough now!

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