Jet Airways may have to abort Abu Dhabi operations

  • Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 04, 2014 23:34 IST

Hit hard by the US Federal Aviation Admini­stration’s (FAA) downgrade of Indian carriers, Jet Airways has told the aviation ministry that it will have to withdraw its recently-launched flights to Abu Dhabi and ground its aircraft if its request for code-share with Etihad Airways is not approved.

The FAA downgrade of India’s aviation safety rating in January meant that Indian carriers cannot increase flights to the US, nor have new code-shares with American carriers.

As a result, Jet’s code-share plans with American Airlines on the New York-San Francisco route as well as from Chicago to 17 US cities including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and Detroit, are now stuck.

To add to its problems, the Naresh Goyal-led Jet has not been able to start its planned flights to New York and Chicago via Abu Dhabi, which were to begin this summer schedule.

“Additional services between India and Abu Dhabi from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai were introduced with the purpose of feeding our planned operations between Abu Dhabi and US, which have been put on hold due to the downgrade,” Jet wrote to the aviation ministry. It requested that it be allowed to code-share with Etihad on flights from Abu Dhabi to Chicago and New York.

Code-share is a ticket-selling agreement between two airlines whereby one airline can market and sell the flights of another airline.

“The code-share enables the continuation of this feed in the absence of our flights without which these India-Abu Dhabi services will become loss making… the routes will have to be withdrawn and aircraft grounded,” Jet wrote to the ministry. Jet did not respond to an email from HT seeking comments for this story.
To support its case, Jet has said that Air India’s (AI) market share on New York and Chicago routes was only 23% and 30% respectively while the rest was cornered by foreign carriers and AI’s non-Delhi market share was a mere 15%.

Jet lags
* Jet’s hopes rest on the approval of its code-share agreement with Etihad.
* Due to the FAA downgrade Jet’s plans of code-sharing with American Airlines are now stuck.
* Jet has also not been able to start its planned flights to New York and Chicago via Abu Dhabi.
* Jet is trying to push its case on the example of Air India’s poor market share on US routes.

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