Jet Airways' proposed gateway in Singapore to link Europe with Asia-Pacific

Jet Airways is developing a gateway in Singapore, its first in East Asia, to build connections between Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

Jet Airways, co-owned by Etihad Airways, is following a network policy independent of the Gulf airline. The Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways bought a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways in 2013. Together the two airlines fly from 11 Indian cities to Abu Dhabi and offer onward  connections to destinations in Africa, Europe and the United States.

But the airline’s hub strategy is not limited to Abu Dhabi. Jet Airways is expanding its code-shares and  coordinating flight schedules with other airlines to develop gateways in Europe and Singapore.    

The network strategy is being shaped by the induction of six Boeing 777 aircraft in Jet Airways’ fleet on end of lease with Etihad Airways earlier this year. This has also allowed Jet Airways to expand capacity on international routes and free up some of its Boeing 737 aircraft for use on domestic routes.

Jet Airways now operates double daily between Mumbai and Singapore with widebody Boeing 777 aircraft and is launching a new service between Bengaluru and Singapore. Increased capacity enables Jet Airways to fly more passengers onward from Singapore to Australia, Indonesia and Japan on code-share flights.

Interlines and code-shares are commercial agreements that allow an airline to sell tickets of other carriers. While Jet Airways has lost out to IndiGo in the domestic market and its market share has declined to under 15 per cent, it is building a gateway of hubs in India and abroad.

“About 50 per cent of passengers on our international flights are connecting,” said Abhijit Dasgupta, Jet Airways’ vice-president for network planning and alliances. Three years ago the share of connecting passengers was 35-40 per cent. Similarly, 10 per cent of   Jet Airways’ total passengers come from partner airlines.

Interline and code-shares contributed about 16 per cent of Jet Airways’ passenger revenue in 2015-16, up from 10 per cent in 2013-14 and code-share passengers rose from 650,000 in 2013-14 to 2.1 million in 2015-16. In all, the airline flew over 25.6 million passengers in 2015-16. Jet Airways expanded its code-share agreement with Air France-KLM in September and partnered Delta to offer better connections to Europe and North America. The strategy also includes developing gateways in Amsterdam, London and Paris.

Jet Airways has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Air France-KLM for a joint venture. In March, Jet Airways shifted its European gateway from Brussels to Amsterdam. And in September, Jet Airways changed the schedule of its Mumbai-Paris flight to provide more onward connections.

Gaurang Shetty, Jet Airways’ wholetime director, said the partnership with Air France-KLM was progressing well but it was too soon to talk about the joint venture.

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