'ONEWORLD' is open to partnering with an Indian Airline, including any no-frills carriers, the CEO of the global Airline alliance has said but dismissed any pressure from competing grouping Star Alliance that roped in India's flag carrier Air India.
"Our share of revenue and passengers in India is pretty strong as many of our carriers go there and have code share relationships. We think India is very important and we will keep our eye on that," 'oneworld' chief executive Bruce Ashby said.
"But I will not go so far as to say that we feel great pressure to do anything (in terms of finding a partner). I am not feeling pressured but of course we are interested and will keep an eye on it," he told PTI on the sidelines of the 71st Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Miami.
He was asked whether 'oneworld' - an alliance of world Airlines like British Airways, Srilankan, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines - was feeling pressured by Air India joining a competing alliance and Jet Airways selling stake to Etihad Airways.
Asked whether the alliance would consider a low-cost carrier (LCC) like IndiGo joining it, Ashby said: "We have had former LCC joining our Alliance. Air Berlin will be a good example. It is certainly possible. We are not talking to them about it. I am not advocating for them to do it. But anything is possible." Incidentally, Ashby, who has worked with several major US Airlines, was also the first CEO of IndiGo, a position which he held for about four years.
To questions on the Kingfisher Airlines joining the alliance but collapsing soon thereafter, he said: "That was an unfortunate chain of events. But... we have not changed our view of India as a result of it."
'ONEWORLD' was not far behind Star Alliance in India, even after Air India added to their market share in the country, he said, adding that its partner Airlines flying into India were adding to their strength and carrying a growing number of passengers out of the country.