On the same day that oneworld member Malév Hungarian Airlines suspended operations, oneworld and Kingfisher Airlines have agreed to put the Indian carrier’s entry into the alliance on hold to give it time to strengthen its financial position.
The news comes on the same day that oneworld member Malév Hungarian Airlines ceased operating. Malév suspended its operations with effect from 0500 GMT on Friday, February 3, until further notice.
“These are turbulent times for the airline industry in India and many other parts of the world,” said oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby. “We have been working closely with Kingfisher Airlines over the past months and it has become increasingly clear recently that the airline needs more time to resolve the financial issues it is confronting before it can be welcomed into oneworld.”
Continued Ashby: “We wish it well during this process and will work with Kingfisher Airlines with the aim of setting a new joining date once it is through this current period of turbulence.”
“In light of the many priorities centred around Kingfisher Airlines’ recapitalisation efforts, we felt it prudent to defer our entry into the alliance for a little while,” said Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines’ chairman. “This will allow us the opportunity to focus on the issues at hand and we look forward to being part of the oneworld alliance very shortly.”
Malév Hungarian Airlines said it stopped operating because its financial position became “untenable” following a recent decision by the European Commission requiring it to repay government loans ruled as contravening state aid regulations; and after being placed on February 2 under special government supervision, which is similar to court-protected restructuring procedures in various other countries.
All but five of the 53 destinations on Malév’s network are served by other airlines in oneworld. The exceptions are Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Sarajevo, Montenegro’s Podgorica, Romania’s Cluj-Napoca and Tirgu Mures and Ukraine’s Odessa.
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