Mumbai: Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, India’s second largest airline by passengers carried, has received approval to run flights on seven new international routes, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
The carrier, which runs 14 daily flights on seven international routes, said it will announce the launch dates of flights for the new routes later.
“We may even look at inducting new aircraft into our fleet sooner than planned so that we are fully geared to capitalize on the upturn,” chairman Vijay Mallya said.
Four of the new routes connect New Delhi to London, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Dubai, while the others link Mumbai with Colombo, Bangkok and Dubai.
Kingfisher had flagged off its international operations by connecting Bangalore to London on 3 September 2008. It withdrew the service due to heavy losses after a year of operations.
Losses in the wake of the global financial meltdown put the brakes on Kingfisher’s international plans last year. For April-December 2009, the airline reported a loss of Rs1,075.32 crore.
Mallya recently hired US-based aviation consultancy Seabury Group to help restructure Kingfisher’s operations and reverse its decline.
He said Seabury will ensure connectivity for the new international routes with its domestic network.
“The addition of these new services will mean that we will now be able to further leverage the unparalleled domestic route network of Kingfisher Airlines to maximize yields.” he said.
Flights from New Delhi to London and Hong Kong will be operated using the Airbus A330. The other five routes will be operated using Airbus A320.
Dhiraj Sachdev, vice-president and fund manager at HSBC Global Asset Management (India) Ltd, said that with record growth in passengers and stabilizing jet fuel prices, the weather was improving for commercial carriers.
“These factors could have prompted Kingfisher Airlines to opt for expansion,” he said.