Will be India’s largest private airline by 2010; Aims to be profitable in the 1st year
Toulouse, France; April 25, 2005 - Kingfisher Airlines, a UB Group company, today took delivery of its first brand new Airbus A320 aircraft. This is the first instance ever of a private Indian carrier taking delivery of a brand new aircraft to commence commercial operations. The Airline took delivery of its first aircraft at a special delivery ceremony organized at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France.
Speaking to media persons shortly after taking delivery of the aircraft, Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman of The UB Group said, “In the last few months, our team has put in significant efforts to make this dream of Kingfisher Airlines come true. It is not only a momentous but also an emotional journey towards realization of a life-long ambition. With the delivery of the first aircraft of Kingfisher Airlines, we are all very proud to be part of the dawning of an important chapter in the growth of the Indian civil aviation industry.”
He added, “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. This growth plan will be consistent with The UB Group’s leadership position in all its core businesses. 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. We are confident of redefining the experience of air travel in India.”
Mr. Noel Forgeard, Airbus President and CEO said, “It is matter of pride for us at Airbus to be an integral part of the growth of the Indian aviation industry. The addition of this brand new fleet of modern, fuel-efficient Airbus A320 aircraft is an affirmation of Kingfisher Airlines’ commitment to excellence. We are confident that this partnership between Airbus and Kingfisher Airlines will contribute to upgrading the experience of the domestic Indian air traveler.” 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.
With the announcement of The UB Group’s foray in the Indian aviation industry, Kingfisher Airlines has already become a force to reckon with. The Airline already has a number of firsts to its credit. In a strategic move, the airline entered into a breakthrough agreement with Indian Airlines, making it the first ‘public-private’ partnership in the sector. This partnership under which Indian Airlines will provide all ground handling services at its exclusive 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 has chosen a spacious layout for its A320-200 with a wider 30-inch seat pitch and larger overhead bins, allowing for maximum passenger comfort. The aircraft has a single-class seating configuration of 174 guests. The aircraft is equipped with an advanced in-flight entertainment system that offers a personal video screen at every seat with 10 audio channels and five channels of video. Designer interiors, unique amenities and outstanding service will contribute to an impressive traveling experience for guests and make traveling by Kingfisher Class an unforgettable experience.
The 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 round. Kingfisher Airlines will enjoy a technical edge on account of its unique fleet specifications, and combined with new-plane reliability, guests can expect unparalleled on-time performance.
Airbus’ A320 family is widely recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family, and is the preferred choice of full-service carriers. It features the most modern design, the best economics, and the greatest passenger-appeal, as independent passenger surveys testify. The Airbus A320-232 aircraft is powered by IAE V2500-A5 engines, which offer increased power, are quieter and more environmentally friendly than older generation engines and provide outstanding range and payload performance.
About Kingfisher Airlines
Kingfisher Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Breweries Holdings Limited, 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 US$ 2 billion and is the largest Indian manufacturer of beverage alcohol—beer and liquor. With the completion of a transaction to acquire a 54.54 per cent stake in Shaw Wallace and Company Ltd by end June 2005, the UB Group will become the second largest liquor company in the world with annual sales in excess of 60 million cases.
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