India's Kingfisher says committed to Jet alliance

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Kingfisher Airlines insists it remains committed to an alliance with rival Indian carrier Jet Airways despite little progress being seen since the tie-up was announced in October.

Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya told local media at the weekend that the two airlines remain committed to an alliance and that it will take around six more months for it to become fully operational.

He told the Press Trust of India that the two airlines were already co-operating "very closely in many ways" but that the full benefits of their partnership will take some time to be seen.

From the passenger's standpoint there is no visible partnership between the two airlines yet, however, and media reports in recent weeks have quoted unidentified industry officials as saying little progress has been made in most areas.

In October Jet and Kingfisher announced a wide-ranging alliance covering codesharing on domestic and international flights as well as interlining. They also agreed to jointly manage fuel purchases, join forces in ground handling, integrate and rationalise their networks, link frequent-flyer programmes and share flight crews.

The airlines are the two largest carriers in India, commanding 57% of the domestic market in terms of passenger numbers in 2008.