|24th, Apr 2006|
|Kingfisher Airlines Purchases Five Airbus A340-500 Aircraft|
Hanover, Germany , 2006-04-24
Kingfisher Airlines, India`s fastest growing private carrier and the first airline in India to introduce a premium First Class service for travelers flying on domestic routes, today signed a deal for the purchase of five Airbus A340-500s aircraft. In addition to the firm order for five aircraft, Kingfisher Airlines will have options for five additional A340-500s.
All five A340-500s in the Kingfisher Airlines fleet will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines, which burn up to 20 per cent less fuel than older generation engines, whilst providing outstanding range and payload performance. Deliveries of this ultra long-haul aircraft will commence in 2008. Given their range and configuration, these aircraft are planned to be deployed for non-stop flights between India and the United States. Currently, the rapidly growing travelling populations in these markets do not have the benefit of availing a direct non-stop service.
The deal was signed by Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman & Managing Director, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. and Mr. Gustav Humbert, President and CEO, Airbus in a ceremony attended by the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"With the A340-500 ultra long-haul aircraft, it is our intention to open up a completely new market. For the first time, we will be able to offer direct non-stop services between India and the USA and our A340-500 will have a unique configuration, giving passengers extra space and comfort on their long haul flights" commented Dr. Vijay Mallya.
Gustav Humbert, Airbus President and CEO, said, â œThis purchase is further evidence of the confidence that an increasingly successful airline such as Kingfisher Airlines shows in our modern family of aircraft. We have built a strong relationship with Kingfisher Airlines and we are delighted that once again Kingfisher Airlines has chosen Airbus to help build its rapidly expanding fleet.â
Kingfisher Airlines also announced that it was currently engaged in talks with a United States based airline to explore the possibility of entering into a strategic partnership to enable commencement of international operations when the A340-500 is delivered in 2008. This US based operator would plan to fly these aircraft under Kingfisher Airlines brand from the US to India in the event that Kingfisher Airlines does not receive approval to fly from India to the US on delivery of the aircraft.
While Indian carriers have to complete five years of operations to be able to fly on international routes, in stark contrast, any new foreign carrier can set up shop anywhere in the world and fly into India, the very next day. Regulations currently in force need to be viewed against this backdrop. To ensure that carriers registered in India are not discriminated against by home-grown legislation, the regulatory environment has to evolve to ensure this anomaly is corrected rapidly.
The total value of the five A340-500s is US$ One billion.
Kingfisher Airlines is a rapidly growing force in Indian civil aviation, already flying 8 Airbus A320s and 3 Airbus A319s on domestic routes. Kingfisher Airlines will receive 30 more single aisle aircraft from Airbus in the near future, and has placed firm orders for five Airbus A380s, five Airbus A-330s and five Airbus A350s for use on long-range international and regional services. Kingfisherâ ™s Airbus Family fleet will grow to more than 60 aircraft.
About Kingfisher Airlines
Kingfisher Airlines is India`s first and only private airline to receive the prestigious, `Best New Airline of the Year` award in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region from Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). Kingfisher Airlines has also been voted as the 3rd Most Successful Brand Launch of the Year 2005, in the annual Brand Derby Survey conducted by Indiaâ ™s leading business daily-Business Standard. In another Survey conducted by agencyfaqs.com and Brand Reporter, Kingfisher was voted as the 7th Buzziest Brand of 2005 amongst 2000 leading national and international brands. More recently, Kingfisher Airlines has bagged the â œService Excellence for a New Airlineâ award from Skytrax, a UK based specialist global air transport advisor. The latest addition to the list of laurels is the â œBest New Domestic Airline for Excellent Services and Cuisineâ award from Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA), the biggest travel writersâ ™ organization, representing members from 70 countries across the globe, that conducts independent annual surveys across various industries related with Travel and Tourism in order to select the best in each category.
Kingfisher Airlines commenced operations on May 9th, 2005 with a brand new fleet of aircraft. Kingfisher Airlines offers Full Service at True Value and promises an unparalleled experience to the Indian air traveler. On offer are extra-wide seats and spacious leg room, delicious gourmet meals, international-class cabin crew and a whole host of comforts and delights. Kingfisher Airlines also facilitates doorstep delivery of tickets on guest request. Fly the Good Times with Kingfisher Airlines. For more information on Kingfisher Airlines log on to www.flykingfisher.com
About The UB Group
The UB Group is one of India`s largest conglomerates with a turnover in excess of US $2 billion, with diverse interests in brewing, distilling, real estate, engineering, fertilizers, biotechnology, IT and aviation. In June 2005, The UB Group acquired management control of Shaw Wallace and Company Ltd. This transaction has catapulted The UB Group`s Spirits Division into becoming the third largest beverage alcohol company in the world with 15 millionaire brands in its portfolio, and annual sales in excess of 60 million cases. Kingfisher Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Breweries Holdings limited, the UB Group`s investments holding company. For more information on The UB Group log on to www.theubgroup.com
Prakash Mirpuri, IPAN, +91 98210 91715