Jazeera Airways seeks more seats from India, says 2007 pact needs revision

Jazeera Airways
Kuwait's Jazeera Airways has sought additional traffic rights in India, its single largest market where it flies from to cities.

Jazeera will become the first low cost airline from a Gulf state to fly to London in June, said airline's chief executive officer Rohit Ramachandran on Sunday, explaining his plans about the carrier’s six new international routes.

Jazeera started flying to India 18 months ago, servicing Ahmadabad, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi and Mumbai.

Ramachandran said Jazeera is looking to increase its seat entitlements in India, but it is not interested in acquisitions and will grow organically.

Indian and Kuwaiti carriers can fly 12,000 seats per week, according to government agreements. "The last time seat revision was done in 2007, and there is a need to increase the allocation. Even if it is tripled it will not be enough," he said.

The lowest seat factor on Indian routes is 86 per cent and the airline gets mix of both migrant workers, corporate and leisure tourist traffic from India, he said.

Currently only around 11 per cent of its traffic from India flies onward from Kuwait and Ramachandran hopes to attract budget travellers from India on its London service beginning this June. "We will offer hot meals on the six-hour-long Kuwait-London flight," he said. 

The airline flies to 27 destinations and along with London it will launch flights to Kathmandu, Dhaka, Al Ain (UAE), Bodrum and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport (Turkey).

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