New Delhi: The alliance between country’s two biggest private carriers Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines will take six months to be fully operational, according to Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya.
Already the two carriers were cooperating “very closely in many ways” but it was not as simple as it sounded to operationalise the agreement, signed by them last October, Mallya said.
“One project is taken at a time. If you decide that frequencies on a particular route operated by either Kingfisher or Jet are going to be changed, it is not as simple as making one phone call to the planning department and saying stop the flight,” he said.
Asked if the alliance could take off fully in the next three to six months, he said: “Absolutely, hundred per cent.”
For the deal to be smoothly implemented, Mallya’s Airbus based fleet will have to be synergised with the largely Boeing based fleet of Jet.
When the hand-holding process by the two would be completed, they will command a market share of about 58% (based on calendar 2008 figures).
Last year the two carriers had announced an alliance of wide-ranging proportions aimed at helping both carriers to significantly rationalise and reduce costs, provide improved standards of service and a wider choice of air travel options to consumers.
Mallya replied in a negative if any major issue is holding back the operational alliance.
Among the major areas agreed upon, the two carriers had envisaged code sharing on both domestic and international flights,joint fuel management, common ground handling, cross selling of flight inventories using the common global distribution system platform, joint network rationalization and cross utilization of crew on similar aircraft types and commonality of training as also of the technical resources.
The alliance agreement also covered interline/special prorate agreements to leverage the joint network deploying 189 aircraft offering 927 domestic and 82 International flights daily and reciprocity in Jet Privilege and King Club Frequent Flier programmes.
The two carriers command around 50% of the Indian civil aviation market, but at the time when they announced forming the alliance it was about 60%.
Restrictive trade practice regulator MRTPC had initiated an investigation into the alliance between the two airlines to check if it would lead to cartelisation.