6 FEBRUARY 2012
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With the grounding of state controlled Malev Airlines and Kingfisher postponing its entry it has been a difficult week for the oneworld Alliance. However on the positive side Europe’s sixth largest carrier, airberlin, joins from 20 March together with, as an affiliate, Austrian carrier, Niki.
Not unexpected, Malev ceased flying 31 January. oneworld put on a brave face noting that all but five of the 53 destinations on the Malev route network are served by member carriers. Budapest-based Wizz has come in quickly with new services, whilst Ryanair says that it will base four aircraft in the Hungarian capital. Just about 30 routes are up for grabs, but clearly many of them are not viable.
With regard to Kingfisher, Chairman Vijay Mallya said: "In light of the many priorities centred around Kingfisher Airlines' recapitalisation efforts, we felt it prudent to defer our entry into the alliance for a little while. This will allow us the opportunity to focus on the issues at hand and we look forward to being part of the oneworld alliance very shortly.
airberlin serves more than 160 destinations in 40 countries. It is a lead airline for the new Brandenburg/Berlin (Schönefeld) International Airport due to open 3 June 2012. www.oneworld.com
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