Kingfisher Airlines is a private airline based in Bangalore, India. Currently, it holds the status of India's largest domestic airline, providing world-class facilities to its customers. Owned by Vijay Mallya of United Beverages Group, Kingfisher Airlines started its operations on May 9, 2005, with a fleet of 4 brand new Airbus - A320, a flight from Mumbai to Delhi to start with. The airline currently operates on domestic as well as international routes, covering a number of major cities, both in and outside India. In a short span of time, Kingfisher Airlines has carved a niche for itself in the civil aviation industry.
Kingfisher Airlines proved to be a stiff competition for other domestic airlines of India, with its brand new aircraft, stylish red interiors, stylishly dressed cabin crew and ground staff. The airline introduced in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems, for the first time to Indian consumers. The IFE systems were provided on every seat, even on the domestic flights. The airline offers attractive services to its on board passengers. Years following its inception proved to be beneficial for the airline, in terms of its booming business, with a good track record of customer satisfaction. However, it faced a worsening economic scenario in 2008.
In 2008, due to the prevalent economic downturn, the civil aviation industry faced the worst period in its history. It was the time, when air passenger traffic started dripping, and the aircraft fuel prices went sky rocketing. As a result, Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya and his Jet Airways counterpart Naresh Goyal announced an alliance, after a meeting. According to the alliance, both the airline companies decided to implement code-sharing on both domestic and international flights. It was a step to reduce the expenses. Subsequently, frequent flier programs were announced by both the airlines, namely King Club and Jet Privelege.
Kingfisher Airlines offers several unique services to its customers. These include personal valet at the airport to assist in baggage handling and boarding, exclusive lounges with private space, accompanied with refreshments and music at the airport, audio and video on-demand, with extra-wide personalized screens in the aircraft, sleeperette seats with extendable footrests, and three-course gourmet cuisine.
Kingfisher Airlines was the first airline in India to operate with all new aircrafts. It was also the first airline in the country to order the Airbus A380. Kingfisher Airlines currently operates ATR 42, ATR 72 and Airbus A320 aircraft for domestic and Airbus A330s for international services. In the present time, the airline operates with a fleet of 74 aircrafts, which include 25 Airbus A320-200 aircraft, 6 ATR 42-500, 27 ATR 72-500, 3 Airbus A319-100, 8 Airbus A321-200 and 5 Airbus A330-200. Delivery of A380s is due in 2010 and A350s in 2012.
Kingfisher Airlines plies regular flights from the major cities of India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. The airline also covers regional destinations from the four zones of India, including Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Port Blair, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Agartala, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Jorhat, North Lakhimpur, Silchar, Patna, Chandigarh, Raipur, Goa, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Kandla, Dharamsala, Kullu, Simla, Jammu, Leh, Srinagar, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Hubli, Mangalore, Calicut, Cochin, Trivandrum, Agatti, Indore, Jabalpur, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Latur, Nagpur.
Nanded, Nasik, Solapur, Imphal, Aizawl, Dimapur, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Coimbatore, Madhurai, Trichi, Tuticorin, Dehradun, Lucknow, Varanasi and Siliguri are the other regional destinations covered by Kingfisher Airlines. The airline also plies flights to Dhaka and Colombo. The airline is soon going to ply flights from Kolkata to Bangkok. It will also provide its passengers to take a flight from Mumbai to international destinations including Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Colombo and Dubai. It is also going to start flights from Delhi to London, Dubai and Bangkok. The airline is planning to increase its international presence, by plying flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malé, Lahore and Karachi.