Kingfisher Airlines is an airline group based in India. Its head office is Kingfisher House in Vile Parle (East), Mumbai. Kingfisher Airlines, through its parent company United Breweries Group, has a 50% stake in low-cost carrier Kingfisher Red.
Kingfisher Airlines is one of the seven airlines to be ranked as a 5-star airline by the independent research consultancy firm Skytrax. Kingfisher operates more than 375 daily flights to 71 destinations, with regional and long-haul international services. In May 2009, Kingfisher Airlines carried more than a million passengers, giving it the highest market share among airlines in India.
Kingfisher Airlines was established in 2003. It is owned by the Bengaluru based United Breweries Group. The airline started commercial operations in 9 May 2005 with a fleet of four new Airbus A320-200s operating a flight from Mumbai to Delhi. It started its international operations on 3 September 2008 by connecting Bengaluru with London.
On 7 June 2010 Kingfisher became a member elect of the Oneworld airline alliance when it signed a formal membership agreement. A firm date to join the alliance will be announced once the implementation process is underway, it possibly may take 18 to 24 months.
Kingfisher Airlines serves 63 domestic destinations and 8 international destinations in 8 countries across Asia and Europe. Kingfisher's short haul routes are mostly domestic apart from some cities in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Western Asia. All short haul routes are operated on the Airbus A320 family aircraft. ATR 42s and ATR 72s are used mainly on domestic regional routes. Kingfisher has its medium, long-haul destinations in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Its first long haul destination was London, United Kingdom which was launched in September 2008. It has plans to launch new long haul flights to cities in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania with deliveries of new aircraft. All long haul routes are operated on the Airbus A330-200.
Kingfisher Airlines' fleet currently consists of ATR 42, ATR 72 and Airbus A320 family aircraft for domestic and short haul services and Airbus A330-200s for international long-haul services. The average age of its fleet as of January 2009 was 2.3 years. All ATR's and a few aircraft from the A320 family are used for Kingfisher Red service.
The domestic Kingfisher First seats have a 48 inch seat pitch and a 126 degree seat recline. There are laptop and mobile phone chargers on every seat. Passengers can avail of the latest international newspapers and magazines. There is also a steam ironing service on board Kingfisher First cabins. Every seat is equipped with a personalised IFE system with AVOD which offers a wide range of Hollywood and Bollywood movies, English and Hindi TV programmes, 16 live TV channels and 10 channels of Kingfisher Radio. Passengers also get BOSE noise cancellation headphones.
Every seat is equipped with personal IFE systems with AVOD on-board the Airbus A320 family aircraft. As in Kingfisher First, passengers can access the movies, English and Hindi TV programmes, a few live TV channels powered by DishTV and Kingfisher Radio. The screen is controlled by a controller-console on the seat armrest. Earcup headphones are provided free of cost to all passengers. The default channel shows, alternating every few seconds, The aeroplane's ground speed, outside temperature, altitude, distance and time to destination; the position of the aircraft on a graphical map and one or more advertisements.
Passengers are served meals on most flights. Before take-off, passengers are served bottled Lemonade.
On-board the ATR 72-500s there are 17 colour LCD drop-down screens mounted along with loudspeakers for audio in the cabin overhead, a head-end unit to handle CDs and DVDs, and a crew control panel. The screens measure 12.7 cm by 9.3 cm, weigh 0.2 kg each and are spaced every two or three seat rows along both sides of the cabin.
After Kingfisher Airlines acquired Air Deccan, its name was changed to Simplifly Deccan and subsequently to Kingfisher Red. Kingfisher Red is Kingfisher Airline's low-cost class on domestic routes. A special edition of Cine Blitz magazine is the only reading material provided.
Kingfisher Airlines is the first airline in India to extend its King Club frequent flyer program to its low-cost carrier as well. Passengers can earn King Miles even when they fly Kingfisher Red, which they can redeem for free tickets to travel on Kingfisher Airlines or partner airlines.
The international Kingfisher Class seats offer a seat pitch of 34 inches, a seat width of 18 inches and a seat recline of 25 degrees (6 inches). Passengers get full length modacrylic blankets, full size pillows and meals.
Each Kingfisher Class seat has a 10.6 inch widescreen personal television with AVOD touchscreen controls. The IFE is similar to that of the international Kingfisher First class. It can also be controlled by a detachable remote-control console fitted in the armrest. This device can be used to control the IFE, reading-lights, play games and even has a credit-card swipe for shopping on Kingfisher's 'Air Boutique'. It also has a facility for sending text-messages, though the service isn't provided by Kingfisher.
Kingfisher was the first Indian airline to have in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems on every seat even on domestic flights. All passengers were given a "welcome kit" consisting of goodies such as a pen, facial tissue and headphones to use with the IFE system. Now, passengers of kingfisher class are not given "welcome kits" but as mentioned earlier, a complimentary bottle of lemonade and earphones for use with the IFE are still given. Initially, passengers were able to watch only recorded TV programming on the IFE system, but later an alliance was formed with Dish TV to provide live TV in-flight. And in a marked departure from tradition, Kingfisher Airlines decided to have an on-screen safety demonstration using the IFE system, however the conventional safety briefing by the flight attendants still exists on many flights.