Amid mounting financial problems and reports that it has grounded 15 aircraft, Kingfisher Monday said it would join the Oneworld alliance in February, making it the first airline from the Indian subcontinent to join one of the global airline alliances.

“It will strengthen us financially, through revenues from passengers transferring to our network from our Oneworld partners and the cost-reduction opportunities the alliance offers,” said Chairman Vijay Mallya.

Earlier this year, Air India’s bid to join the Star Alliance was deferred after the alliance suspended the process, claiming non-fulfillment of various conditions.

Kingfisher Airlines was invited to join Oneworld in June 2010 after gaining approval from India’s civil aviation ministry to become part of the alliance.

The airline received the go-ahead to join the alliance last week after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by British Airways, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance.

“Kingfisher Airlines will expand Oneworld’s network substantially in a key region of growing travel demand, while enabling Kingfisher Airlines to offer its customers a truly global network on quality partners,” said Bruce Ashby, CEO of Oneworld.

Indian media reported Monday that cash-strapped Kingfisher had grounded 15 aircraft because it was not able to pay the maintenance costs for the aircraft. However, an airline official, when contacted by Aviation Week declined to deny or confirm the report.

A Kingfisher executive, who declined to be identified, told Reuters the airline had grounded 15 of its aircraft but did not say how long they had been grounded or why.

In November, the beleaguered airline grounded  10-12 aircraft, or 55 flights, out of its fleet of 66 airplanes to reconfigure the aircraft after dropping its low-cost services operated by Kingfisher Red..

Kingfisher has a fleet of 66 aircraft, including ATR 42 and 72s, Airbus A319s and A320s, and long-haul A330s. In addition, it has a handful of Airbus A350-800XWBs and A380s on order, according to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network.