Jet Airways, aiming to feed its ambitious growth plans in the US and European sectors, has hired experienced expatriate personnel in its bid to emerge as a preferred international carrier.
"We have hired 50 personnel in the US and Canada to handle sales and airport operations. Emmanuel Menu has been appointed as General Manager, Europe and is based at Brussels. At the moment we have 15 personnel at Brussels and the number will increase to 35 in the coming months," said Jet Airways CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.
Most of these personnel are locals and know the market conditions well. Zainul Aljunied, previously with Singapore Airlines for 43 years is now Jet’s regional vice-president (US/Canada) and Peter Luethi, who was earlier with Jet as its chief operating officer in India and had to quit due to family-related reasons has joined back as vice-president, Eastern Midwest America and Canada.
More new appointments are expected shortly as Jet expands its network to Johannesburg, Shanghai and San Francisco going forward.
The 14-year-old airline, India’s largest carrier in the private sector, on Sunday launched its daily flight linking Mumbai and Newark with a stopover at Brussels, its new international hub. Both the ina0ugural incoming and outgoing flights - brand new Boeing 777-300 ERs - were almost full, said airline officials.
"We are booked to the capacity for the next whole week and our offerings have been well accepted by our customers. The launch of the US operations is dream coming true. By developing Brussels as our international hub, we are giving a new approach to develop traffic both in Europe and the US," said Jet Airways executive director Saroj Datta.
On September 5, Jet would operate its New Delhi to Toronto daily service, followed by services to Johannesburg in October and to JFK airport in New York in November. "Once we start our US service from Bangalore in November, the Delhi-Toronto service will become Delhi-JFK and the Bangalore flight would link Toronto. At our Brussels hub 30 to 40 passengers can be transferred to their desired destinations as all the flights would be operated nearly at the same time," said Datta.
Jet would be using these three destinations as a common platform to provide connectivity from all points of India. While growing the US sector, Jet would develop Brussels, which provides easy connectivity throughout Europe. The airline expects that the US sectors would break even ahead of the expected 12 to 18 months period.