The International Air Transport Association has suspended India’s Kingfisher Airlines from what the AP describes as its “vital industry-wide payment system” because the airline has not paid dues owed the association.
Over the past several months, the financially troubled Kingfisher has struggled to stay afloat while canceling flights and reportedly failing to pay some employees.
Why IATA Action Hurts Airline
The IATA, an airline group representing more than 80 percent of the world’s airlines – including all of the U.S. legacy carriers plus some of the discount airlines such as JetBlue – plays a role in airline partnerships known as code shares, which allows airlines to divide up the money made on multi-airline trips.
What This Means to Passengers
There are conflicting reports on what this could mean to travelers: some news sources say IATA travel agents are being told not to issue tickets for Kingfisher, while the Kingfisher website says this does not impact any of its flights or flight schedules. However, it is known that code share partner Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced “it has canceled an agreement allowing its passengers to book multi-leg journeys with Kingfisher on a single itinerary.”
In any event, whenever booking a ticket involving a code share partner, it’s a good idea to know what airline you’re flying – and it may not always be obvious, so check your ticket carefully.
Meanwhile, Kingfisher has said it is confident the matter with IATA is a temporary suspension.