The price of oil has/was always the Achilles heels of Indian aviation. So, with the continuous downward trending of oil, it is looking good for all the aviation companies in India, including Jet Airways.
Over the years, Jet Airways’ has had to kill quite some routes, initially to stay afloat. Their B77W planes, once the best product in the industry, have been passed around to many other airlines, such as Turkish Airlines, Gulf Air, Thai Airways and Etihad Airways, since Jet Airways could not find good use for these on their own given the price of oil, and hence bad economics of running those flights. Here are some of the routes that went away over the years:
- Mumbai – Johannesburg
- Delhi – Rome
- Mumbai – Shanghai – San Francisco
- India – Saigon (via Bangkok)
- Chennai – New York JFK via Brussels
- Chennai – Kuala Lampur
- Chennai – Colombo
- Kolkata – Bangkok
Jet Airways to receive 6 B77W planes back from Etihad, and expand
Like I mentioned above, Jet has had to give a lot of their planes to other airlines, including Etihad over a period of time. However, as Etihad continues to get their own planes, and Jet Airways starts to get into profit zones (they just declared profits for FY16), they are now planning a return to more international flights, as well as up gauging some domestic flights to wide bodies. Here is what we can piece together so far!
- Mumbai – Shanghai to return: Jet Airways, for a very short period of time in 2008, used to operate a flight between Mumbai and Shanghai, and onwards to San Francisco. This flight was suspended in 2009. It seems that at least the Mumbai to Shanghai leg will come back shortly (no timelines yet), but this is sort of confirmed by an airline official that work may be on, on this.
- Bangalore – Singapore: After upgrading the Mumbai to Singapore flight to a widebody, it seems Jet Airways has plans to add more flights to Singapore. In this case, they must be wanting to do it before the new aviation rules come into effect so that they have a lot of the capacity from the Bilateral, and hence this may crowd out Vistara from flying to Singapore just in case they become eligible to fly international before 5 years. Bangalore to Singapore is on the list for early 2017.
- Mumbai – Tehran?: This is a rumor just yet, but with the ties improving with Tehran, why not? Anyways it will be a narrow body.
It is also expected that Jet Airways’ current flights on the A333s to Europe may be converted to B77Ws in the coming days, but I don’t have any information on this at the moment. Some of their A330-200 planes have also been leased to Air Serbia (1) and Alitalia (2) which has been brokered by Etihad Airways.
There is more in the works. I’ve heard chatter from crew that London may get another flight from Delhi, and we may have more connectivity into London from Mumbai as well, but I wonder where will the slots come from.
I’d love to hear what do you guys think of the expansion plans of Jet Airways? I’m all for them going to new places, and I do wish them success!