Kingfisher to target Europe, US, while Deccan takes on Asia, Gulf: Mallya

Bangalore: Having announced the merger of Kingfisher Airlines with Deccan, UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya has said that as part of a split of international operations, Kingfisher will fly to the US and Europe while Air Deccan will cater to Asia and the Gulf.

In an interview with a news agency, Mallya said that while will fly to far-off destinations in Europe and the US, Deccan will operate in the Asian and Gulf region, with more flights to Saarc and South East Asian countries.

Mallya said that he expects ''better synergies, better productivity and lowering operational costs,'' from the merger.

He also said that as the government had not so far relaxed the rule to allow private carriers to fly abroad until they complete five years, it was decided to merge with Air Deccan.

Two years after floating Kingfisher, Mallya first acquired 26 per cent stake in Deccan Aviation for Rs5.5 billion ($140 million) in mid-2007. He added another 20 per cent through an open offer for Rs.5.7 billion ($145 million) to make UB Holdings the largest stakeholder in Deccan with a 46 per cent controlling stake.

Air Deccan completes five years of operations as a scheduled airline next year.