Kingfisher Airlines, the new value-based carrier headquartered in Mumbai, India, today celebrated the delivery of its first A320, becoming a new Airbus operator.

Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman of the UB Group, one of India’s largest companies and the parent company of Kingfisher Airlines, accepted the aircraft at a ceremony held in Toulouse.

“The delivery of our first Airbus A320 heralds a new era in which the Kingfisher lifestyle - already popular on the ground - takes to the skies,” says Dr Mallya. “We have built the Kingfisher brand on values such as quality, value and reliability, all of which are echoed in our brand-new fleet of modern Airbus aircraft, which features the widest seats in its class, personal TV screens for an unparalleled in-flight experience, the most spacious cabin, and the most modern design.“

Kingfisher’s first A320 is the first of four that are being leased from debis Airfinance. The airline has also placed firm orders for ten Airbus A320s, plus 20 options, and for three A319s – for which deliveries begin in September and December, respectively.

“Kingfisher is a strong and vibrant brand in India and is sure to rise to new heights aboard our aircraft,” says Noël Forgeard, Airbus President and CEO. “India is a strongly growing air-travel market with enormous potential for growth, especially among the new emerging generation, for which modern Airbus aircraft and the Kingfisher brand are ideally suited.”

Each of Kingfisher’s A319s and A320s will seat 144 and 174 passengers, respectively, and be powered by International Aero Engines V2500s.

Kingfisher has recently signed a ground-handling agreement for its A319s and A320s with Indian Airlines, in a ground-breaking deal between private and public companies that will bring benefits to both.

Airbus has by far the most modern airliner family and, with new aircraft that respond to every airline need from the 100 seat A318 all the way up to 555-seat 21st Century flagship A380, it is also the largest and most versatile.

Every single Airbus passenger aircraft in production today also features a common cockpit, generating valuable savings in training and operating efficiency which, depending on the aircraft mix, can be worth a million US dollars per aircraft per year.

Airbus has won a total of almost 5,400 orders worldwide, comprising some 3,500 A320 Family aircraft, over 850 A300s and A310s, more than 900 A330s and A340s, and over 150 A380s. Its aircraft have been bought by, or are in service with, some 275 customers and operators.

Airbus is a joint EADS company with BAE Systems.