British Airways, Kingfisher to announce a codeshare agreement

An official announcement to this effect is expected to be made during the visit of British Airways CEO Willie Walsh to India early September, sources close to the development told PTI. Codeshare allows an airline to book air tickets for its customers on its partner carriers. The frequent flyers of one airline can earn mileage points while travelling on the other's network.

The BA prefix would be added to flights by the Indian carrier to various points across the Indian sub-continent, while Kingfisher's IT designator would be placed on services operated by the UK carrier to key cities in Europe.

Kingfisher and British Airways, one of the leaders of the world airline alliance 'OneWorld', have already begun work on finalising the codeshare arrangement. Following an invitation by 'OneWorld' to liquor baron Vijay Mallya's airline to join the global network, Kingfisher signed an MoU with the global airlines' grouping in February. It was announced at the Global Airline Summit of the International Air Transport Association in Berlin in June.

A team of experts from British Airways, which is serving as Kingfisher's OneWorld sponsor, has been mentoring and supporting it through the process of joining the 'OneWorld' alliance. "Most of the regulatory approvals have been secured, barring a few technical ones. In all likelihood, the agreement will be announced and rolled out in the first week of September," the sources said.

The agreement would be implemented in a phased manner, the sources said, adding the first phase would cover 12 stations. Kingfisher Airlines, which has a domestic market share of around 21 per cent, operates over 360 flights across 66 domestic and 8 international routes.

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