Oneworld alliance in no rush to sign up Indian airline partner

By David Flynn, June 9 2015
Oneworld alliance in no rush to sign up Indian airline partner

The Oneworld alliance isn't rushing to put an Indian airline on its books, according to group CEO Bruce Ashby.

While Air India is soon to celebrate its first year as a member of the competing Star Alliance, Ashby – speaking with media at this week's International Air Transport Association meeting in Miami – says he doesn't feel pressured to rush into a hasty hook-up. 

"Our share of revenue and passengers in India is pretty strong as many of our carriers go there and have codeshare relationships" Ashby (below) told journalists during a breakfast session.

Oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby: no pressure to sign up an Indian airline
Oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby: no pressure to sign up an Indian airline

"We think India is very important and we will keep our eye on that... but I will not go so far as to say that we feel great pressure to do anything [in terms of finding a partner]."

Oneworld previously eyed Kingfisher in early 2012 before the Indian airline imploded with crippling losses exceeding US$1.1 billion and had its bank accounts frozen due to non-payment of tax.

Ashby admits that a low-cost carrier could find a seat at the Oneworld table, although it would be the odd one out among the group's family of full-service airlines including Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific – but it would come with caveats.

"A low-cost carrier will be required to do a certain changes in its system like the frequent flyer programme and a few technical upgrades to be eligible to join our alliance" Ashby told India's Economic Times.

"If any airline is willing to invest in that, we would surely look at inducting them."

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

Was Sri Lankan Airlines a rushed decision to sign them up so that the other 2 alliances don't get to them?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Probably not because Air India was already under Star Alliance's eyes so they probably would have left them, and SkyTeam isn't lookng for members anyway so I guess there was no rush although there was some since SA might have tried their luck. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Vistara would be a great option for OneWorld to sign since it's got FF Program up to Premium Economy - Business but SQ and Jet Airways both own majority shares so I don't see it happening but there's a slight chance is SQ somehow parters with QF and so maybe Vistara might get into OW although I don't think that would happen.

05 Jun 2015

Total posts 4

Vistara is half owned by SQ, so oneworld is 100% ruled out. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

I did mention that in the first few sentences...

05 Jun 2015

Total posts 4

As per a number of media reports in the last few months, its the other way around. Oneworld is desperate to sign up Indigo who are the only profitable airline with almost 1/3 market share, but Indigo is not keen!

What about Africa? I know BA has a stong presence flying into many cities in Africa, but there is no way to get around within Africa. The other two alliances have African-based airlines, but Oneworld does not. It's very frustrating for someone who tries to fly Oneworld, but needs to fly within Africa a lot.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 582

That's not entirely true with BA operating within southern Africa through its Comair operations. It operates flights from Johannesburg to Harare, Livingstone, Mauritius, Victoria Falls, Windhoek and other cities in South Africa.

Though I do concede that it needs a bigger presence in Central and Western Africa. However, there are slim pickings for suitable airlines unless they can lure one of the Star Alliance or Skyteam carriers.


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