Jet Airways, the fast-growing Indian airline, has brought forward the first flight of its new B777-300ER. It will now arrive in London Heathrow this Saturday (May 5) at 1755 after operating daily flight 9W118 which departs Mumbai at 1245. The B777 will then return with daily flight 9W117 which leaves Heathrow at 2125 arriving the following morning in Mumbai at 1050.
Details of Jet's new premium products on the B777 have previously been described on this website (see Online News, April 19). But Jet has now revealed the prices it will be charging for its new first and business classes. Rates are higher than before at £2,262 return for business while first class (never before offered by Jet) will be £4,421 return. By comparison business class fare with British Airways costs £3,161 or £3,164 with Virgin Atlantic. First class with BA costs £5,660.
Sarah Built, Jet's GM for the UK & Ireland, told Business Traveller, "The products we are offering in first and business class will be amongst the best on the route. With first class we aim to offer luxury and privacy and provide passengers with much more space. Business class will also benefit from much more space. We are using seats manufactured by Contour which adopt the 'herringbone' layout." "Our fares will remain very attractive. They have to be because we're still a new airline."
As Jet takes delivery of more B777s, along with a new fleet of Airbus A330-200s, the existing Airbus A340-300s (these are leased from South African Airways) used on the London route will be phased out.
Jet Airways' chairman, Naresh Goyal, was in Brussels this week to sign an innovative deal with the airport authority. What it means is that Brussels will become Jet's second European gateway and a mini-hub. Brussels was chosen as it's the least congested main city airport in Northern Europe.
Jet will launch a daily Mumbai-Brussels-New York service in August with a Delhi-Brussels-Toronto service following later. The idea is that both flights in either direction will cross over in Brussels and passengers can switch between them.
But Jet will also sign a ticketing deal with local carrier Brussels Airlines. It will enable passengers from the UK regions and mainland Europe to make connections with Jet, using Brussels Airlines, for onward flights to the US, Canada and India.
Other new routes in the pipeline include Mumbai to Johannesburg and Mumbai-Brussels-Chicago. Jet also expects to be serving the transpacific by the end of the year. It will operate a new service from Mumbai to San Francisco via Shanghai. Jet says it has acquired rights to carry passengers over the transpacific Shanghai-San Francisco leg.
For more information go to jetairways.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter