India’s Kingfisher Airlines goes international with London route

NEW DELHI, August 23, 2008 (AFP) – India’s Kingfisher Airlines has announced it will launch its first international flight from the high-tech southern city of Bangalore to London next month.

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The daily non-stop Airbus A330-220 service to Heathrow airport by Kingfisher, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, will take to the skies September 3, a statement received here Saturday said.

“We will set new standards in international travel,” Kingfisher chairman Mallya said.

The privately-owned airline last year bought out low-cost Indian carrier Deccan Aviation giving it the right to fly aboard.

Under Indian rules, carriers less than five years old cannot fly internationally. Kingfisher was founded three years ago while Deccan is five years old.

On its own, Kingfisher would only have been eligible to fly abroad in 2010.

The decision to add overseas destinations is expected to heat up rivalry with India’s largest airline Jet Airways.

All India’s major airlines have posted big losses due to soaring fuel costs that have driven