Kingfisher Airlines began its operations on 9 May 2005, following the lease of four Airbus A320 aircraft. The inaugural flight was from Mumbai to Delhi. On June 15, 2005, it became the first (and only) Indian airline to order the Airbus A380. It placed orders for five A380s, five Airbus A350-800 aircraft and five Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a deal valued at over $3 billion. Delivery of the A330s was due to start in late 2007, followed by the A380s in 2010 and the A350s in 2012.
Ever since its launch in May 2005, Kingfisher Airlines has blazed a trail of innovations and introduced a range of market-firsts that have completely redefined the whole experience of flying. By elevating its customers to a level of being ‘guests’ and not just passengers, Kingfisher Airlines has endeared itself to consumers. Kingfisher Airlines was the first Indian airline to introduce in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on domestic flights. Passengers on-board are provided complimentary ‘welcome kit’ that contains a pen, facial tissue and headphone to use with the IFE system. Kingfisher Airlines has made alliance with Dish TV to provide live TV entertainment to passengers.
As of July 2007, Kingfisher operates only on domestic routes; however it started its international operations on 3rd September, 2008 with a flight between Bangalore and London, and later on added new international destinations, namely Hong Kong, Dhaka, Colombo, Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok. However, on 15th September 2009, Kingfisher Airlines withdrew the London service.
On December 19th, 2007 Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines decided to merge. Kingfisher Airlines’ parent company United Breweries (UB Group) have acquired 46% of Air Deccan’s parent Deccan Aviation, which possesses 52% of the total stakes.
In May 2009, Kingfisher Airlines carrier over a million passengers that provided it the highest market share among the airlines in India.