Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jet to deploy no-frills planes on short global routes

The country’s largest private carrier by fleet size Jet Airways is ready to take on FlyDubai and Air AsiaX on short-haul international routes with the airline is readying strategies to deploy its no-frill arms JetKonnect and JetLite to counter the competition.

"Operating JetLite and JetKonnect on these routes is absolutely an option. We have three guns in our waist-holster," a Jet Airways official told FE. Asked if the airline had enough jets to be operated by JetKonnect and JetLite, the official said,"Aircraft is available. We can always lease it."

Jet Airways, JetKonnect, its all-economy, no-frills service, and JetLite have a combined fleet strength of 112 aircraft and operate over 500 flights daily. While JetKonnect and JetLite operate services for the price-conscious customers, Jet Airways serves the full-fare passengers. The airline launched JetKonnect to take on no-frill carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet. After the global financial crisis hit the domestic industry, companies started tightening their travel budgets forcing employees to travel by low-cost airlines. This resulted into passengers shifting from full-fare carriers to budget airlines.

After the world economy started improving leading to demand for international travel some of the no-frill international carriers have launched very attractive fares. For example, Air Asia recently offered a promotional fare of Re 1 (plus taxes and other charges of Rs 475) on Delhi-Kuala Lumpur route. FlyDubai also announced cheaper fare on Lucknow-Dubai.

"With domestic airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet putting plans in place for foreign operation Jet may have to look for alternative model on Middle East and South East Asian routes," Amadeus India managing director Ankur Bhatia said.

Bhatia said that Jet would be able to compete with airlines like Air AsiaX only when they hub passengers in India and then disseminate them to other destinations. "Jet Airways has major advantage of strong and robust domestic network," he said.

Source: Financial Express

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