India's privately-owned Jet Airways plans to launch two transatlantic services next year. First off will be a link between Mumbai and New York via Brussels with another link, this time between Delhi and Canada, to follow later.
The Mumbai-based carrier wants to compete with the Gulf carriers which are increasingly tapping the growing traffic between Asia and North America.
Jet Airways UK general manager, Emmanuel Menu, says it will opt for Brussels, rather than London, Paris or Frankfurt, as a stopover point between India and North America because of the ease of securing traffic rights and landing slots.
The airline is poised to add 20 new long-haul planes to its fleet between 2007 and 2009 and there are moves afoot to use them on new routes to the US, Far East and Africa.
In another news, Jet says its UK website now allows bookings to be made starting in London. A UK-specific website is expected to come online next November.
The airline hopes to get more international recognition for its Jet Privilege loyalty programme. A current offer for new members sees passengers being offered a 50 per cent discount on business class fares and double miles.
For more information go to jetairways.com.
Report by Tom Otley