Jet Airways will transfer its "scissors hub" from Brussels to Amsterdam in March.
At the same time, the Indian carrier will launch a codesharing deal with Delta Airlines and KLM.
Jet Airways' intention to close Brussels was known, but it had been unclear whether it would move to Amsterdam or withdraw from the Benelux altogether (see news, November 27).
Subject to government approval, the airline will launch flights out of Amsterdam Schiphol on March 27.
The move and not gone down well in Brussels.
In a statement, airport CEO Arnaud Feist said: "The departure of Jet Airways will cost us [Brussels Airport] hundreds of direct and indirect jobs - 650,000 passengers a year will be lost. We are examining with Brussels Airlines how routes can be resumed when Jet Airways stops flights in March."
By using Amsterdam rather than Brussels, Jet Airways can provide its customers with a vastly increased number of connections.
It means that combined these three carriers will provide the following:
- Jet Airways will fly daily from Bombay/Delhi to Amsterdam. One of these two services will continue on to Toronto while the other will terminate (in Amsterdam). Note that Jet Airways' existing transatlantic flight to New York Newark that currently operates from Brussels will not transfer to Amsterdam.
- Passengers arriving into Amsterdam (and not bound for Toronto) transfer to Delta/KLM for onward flights to North America. In total, 17 destinations will be available, including: New York Newark/JFK, Chicago, Washington DC, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal.
- Those passengers coming from India can connect to a possible 50 KLM destinations across Europe.
- North American-originating passengers will link with Jet Airways in Amsterdam for flights to India.
All Jet Airways flights are operated by A330-300s with 34 seats in business and 259 seats in economy. Bookings open on December 15.
Amsterdam Schiphol is easily reached direct from Belgium by high-speed Thalys trains; the airport has its own train station beneath the terminal complex.
Unlike the situation at Brussels, these new linkages plus the use of Amsterdam provide Jet Airways passengers with many more connection opportunities.
The latter are vital for all three carriers as they face ever tougher competition for the voluminous numbers of passengers flying between India and North America.