India’s Jet Airways has embarked on a 3-year restructuring program and, as a first step, decided to rid itself of the JetKonnect and JetLite sub-brands in a consolidating effort aimed at creating a strong master brand.
Jet Airways needs to save costs, no doubt about it. After seven consecutive years of bleeding red ink, Jet Airways got help this year in the form of a 24 per cent equity investment from Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.
Jet Airways’ A330-200
Under the helm of new CEO Cramer Ball, who is closely associated with Etihad CEO James Hogan, Jet Airways is building on the concept of consistency and alignment. Subsidiary low-cost brands JetKonnect and JetLite will cease operations at an hitherto undisclosed date, leaving only master brand Jet Airways to compete domestically and internationally.
Interestingly, once JetKonnect and JetLite will stop flying, flag carrier Air India and newly-announced Vistara Airlines (see here) will be the only full-service airlines in India’s 1.25 billion passenger market.
“Over the next few months, you will see this brand reflected across our entire business – in the livery, staff uniforms, the interiors, the product and service offering, and the frequent flyer programme,” Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal said at a press event after the release of the company’s first-quarter results.
As a result of the consolidation, all of Jet Airways’ future services will feature business and economy class seating but the airline’s pricing will remain competitive despite the scrapping of the low-cost arms, said James Hogan.
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Indian aviation is not having it easy. Despite fast-growing demand for air travel, all but one of India’s largest airlines are losing money as they grapple with high costs, low fares and fierce competition in their domestic market. Only low-frills IndiGo is in the black.
Jet executive board members express confidence that India’s number two carrier by market share will return to profitability, after successfully executing its three-year restructuring program, by 2017.
For more information, visit jetairways.com
Dominic Sebastian Lalk