New Delhi: After rapid expansion of its international network, private carrier Jet Airways has now started looking for a second operational hub in Europe as part of the next phase of its worldwide growth plan.
“Our existing hub in Brussels is working very well. We have to strengthen it further. But we don’t want to put all the eggs in one basket,” Jet Airways CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said.
He said talks were on with governments and concerned agencies in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, “but nothing concrete has emerged so far”.
“The next European hub would part of Jet Airways global expansion plan,” he added.
Currently, the airline operates to 20 international destinations which will be increased to 22 by October-end.
Replying to questions on high jet fuel prices, Prock-Schauer said the individual airline would themselves have to consider whether or by how much they should raise the fares to meet the heavy fuel cost burden.
He, however, maintained that unless the fuel prices in India came down significantly, there could be no relief either to the industry or to the travelling public.
“Even if the jet fuel prices remain at the same level in the next few weeks, Jet could consider raising fare by 10%,” he said.
He said the airline would study the rupee price of the Aviation Turbine Fuel by early next month and only then take a decision in the matter.
On the new operation in the Gulf region, where the private carrier flies to six cities, Prock-Schauer said, the airlines was not interested at the moment to provide intra-regional connectivity but would prefer to continue direct point-to-point services.
After launching direct flight to Dubai from Delhi and Mumbai, Jet Airways would commence operations to Saudi Arabia in October subject to regulatory clearances.
To a question on withdrawal of flights on some international routes, he said there has been some capacity reduction in sectors which were not making money.
In this context, he added, there was “temporary curtailment” of its Shanghai-San Fransisco flight which will be reviewed in November.
The premier private carrier plans to strengthen its Brussels hub by linking more cities in India like Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad and linking the Belgian capital to Los Angles, Chicago and Vancouver in North America.
“The airlines will increase its international operations exponentially to other destinations in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia in the near future,” he said.
Regarding its fleet acquisition plans, the Jet CEO said of the 10 wide-bodied Airbus A 330-200s ordered initially, eight have been delivered. Two more would be delivered in September and October.
He said the deliveries of other types of aircraft would continue till 2013.
“We have not cancelled any order (for aircraft),” he said, adding that talks with Boeing company were on to defer the delivery of two Boeing 777 (Extended Range) from 2009 to 2010.