Jet Airways eyes new long-haul markets, alliance membership

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Published: June 11, 2012

Jet Airways (9W) is considering new long-haul services starting next summer, and is aiming to join either SkyTeam or Star Alliance, according to 9W founder and chairman Naresh Goyal.

Speaking to ATW on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting in Beijing, Goyal said the carrier is “looking to fly to some new places in the next two to three years, starting from next summer. On the radar are flights to Munich, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, and Rome as well Beijing and Shanghai.”

Goyal called 9W an “ideal partner” for a global alliance. “We are looking not to oneworld, but to the two others,” he said, without giving a timeframe.

The carrier is working to better connect domestic network with the international network and further improve its service levels.

Goyal told ATW he has no interest in investing in one of the struggling Indian carriers. “That doesn’t make sense. Not anymore,” he said.

He said the tax regime in Indian aviation has become a “massive burden,” and hopes the Indian government will reduce fuel and airport taxes.

“We pay about 35% more for the fuel (in India) compared to when we fly overseas from the same oil company,” Goyal said, adding that taxes at New Delhi airport “increased 346%, becoming the most expensive airport. We are all taking up the issue to try to change that,” he said.

Goyal said 9W is “doing better” financially after the airline rationalized many routes, and improved its cost structure and productivity. However, he said this may not be enough and further cost-cutting measures could follow.

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