Jet rules out alliance membership

2 Mar 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Privately owned Indian carrier Jet Airways has ruled out joining an airline alliance in the short to medium term as it concentrates on a period of “consolidation”.

UK boss Raja Segran told Business Traveller’s sister publication ABTN that the airline – owned by Indian billionaire businessman, Naresh Goyal – was keen to maintain its current partnerships with the Star Alliance and Oneworld groups.

Jet is believed to have held talks with Star, Oneworld and the Air France-KLM-lead Skyteam about committing to one alliance.

Rival carrier Kingfisher announced last month that it was joining Oneworld, a move that bolstered the group’s Asian network only days after Japan Airlines (JAL) confirmed it was retaining its membership.

Skyteam had tried to tempt JAL out of Oneworld by promising to invest billions of dollars in the company, currently in the hands of Government administrators. The advances were rejected, and soon after JAL announced it was applying for anti-trust immunity with fellow Oneworld carrier American Airlines, which if granted, will allow them to legally collude on fares and services.

With Air India already signed up to join Star Alliance in October, analysts believe Skyteam may now pursue Jet as it scrambles to have a presence in the Indian market.

But Segran said: “We are in a year of consolidation. Like many airlines we are looking to get our balance sheet sorted out and not necessarily looking to grow. There is no plan to join an alliance on the horizon.”

Jet has close ties with the Lufthansa-lead Star Alliance through its Brussels hub and links with Lufthansa-owned Brussels Airlines. Meanwhile it enjoys a code share agreement with Oneworld’s American Airlines.

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Report by Martin Ferguson

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