“Any specific addition to the network will be communicated at the appropriate time,” a Jet Airways spokesperson said in response to questions over the airline’s US plans. Sources said the airline was considering reconfiguring some of its Boeing 777 aircraft in order to fly non-stop to New York.
Air India and United have non-stop flights to the US. Air India recently increased the frequency of its Delhi-San Francisco flight to six times a week.
Air India also flies non-stop to New York, Newark and Chicago and is planning a service to Washington. United flies from Newark to Delhi and Mumbai.
Jet Airways offers connection to the US through its code-share partners over Abu Dhabi (Etihad), Amsterdam (Delta) and London (United). The airline has over 14 per cent of India's foreign air traffic and international operations contribute to around half its revenue.
“I see a possible reset in the Jet-Etihad partnership and new alignments emerging. Amsterdam will be a key hub for Jet Airways’ North American operations,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia) of consultancy CAPA.
Jet Airways was supposed to introduce flights to New York, Chicago and Newark via Abu Dhabi as a part of an agreement it signed with Etihad in 2013. Instead of launching flights, Jet Airways leased its Boeing 777s to Etihad for use on its flights to New York and San Francisco.