Kingfisher To Launch International Service on September 3
India’s Kingfisher Airlines announced it will launch its first international service on September 3 between Bangalore and London Heathrow Airport. Kingfisher will serve the route with a new Airbus A330-200, the first of 10 on which it holds delivery positions. Indian law requires that an airline operate domestically for five years before authorities consider it for an international air transport license. Although Kingfisher has existed for only three years, its merger with Air Deccan, which celebrated its fifth anniversary yesterday, gives it the access to international markets long coveted by CEO Vijay Mallya. While Kingfisher prepares to expand internationally, it has curtailed its ambitions for the domestic market. The airline plans to defer delivery of 32 A320s by at least two years due to what Mallya characterized in the Financial Times as irrational competition in the Indian market. Mallya told the paper yesterday that the airline would take eight A320s this year and another eight next year, but that the remaining 32 airplanes originally due for delivery by then won’t start arriving until 2010. Kingfisher now expects to fulfill the order by 2012.