Kingfisher’s international debut with London landing (Lead)September 3rd, 2008 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS
London/Bangalore, Sep 3 (IANS) India’s largest private carrier Kingfisher Airlines Wednesday made international debut with its first direct flight to London from India’s tech hub Bangalore landing here in the afternoon.An elated Vijay Mallya, the flamboyant liquor baron and Kingfisher airlines chairman, said on landing: “I am delighted about Kingfisher’s maiden international service between Bangalore and London’s Heathrow airport.”
Mallya was accompanied on the flight Indian Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who flagged off the flight at Bengaluru international airport Wednesday morning.
“Kingfisher is Harrods (the upscale London department store) in the sky. We’ve always focused on delivering superior value, a full-blown first class experience at a business class fare and economy at premium class fare,” Mallya said.
Colin Matthews, Chief Executive, British Airport Authority, said: “BAA is delighted to welcome Kingfisher Airlines and its passengers to Heathrow Airport, and we are honoured to have been chosen as Kingfisher’s first international destination.
“India’s growing emergence as force in world business underpins the need for direct air links between London Heathrow and key cities such as Bangalore,” Matthews said.
The flight departs Bangalore at 8.40 a.m. and arrives at London Heathrow’s Terminal 4 at 2.50 p.m. The return flight departs Heathrow at 10.05 p.m. and arrives in Bangalore the next day at 12.35 p.m.
The flights will be operated using a brand new Airbus A330-200, widely billed as the best A330 ever built for any airline.
The airline offers 217 seats, 30 in first class and 187 in premium class.The inaugural flight had 70 percent passengers. Patel, Mallya and other invitees and a media contingent made up the rest 30 percent.
Kingfisher becomes the second airline after British Airways to operate a daily direct flight to London from Bangalore.