Mumbai: The country’s oldest private airline Jet Airways (India) Ltd is starting a second low-fare service on Friday by converting some of its full-fare flights into a no-frills, all-economy service, as it tries to lure more passengers. Jet Airways Konnect will be similar to JetLite, the airline’s existing no-frills service, and Kingfisher Red, the low-fare carrier of rival Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, the country’s largest private airline by passengers flown in March.
New offer: A file photo of a Jet Airways plane. The new service will operate 54 flights a day, about 15% of Jet Airways’ existing capacity. Sajjad Hussain / AFP
The new service will operate 54 flights a day, or about 15% of Jet Airways’ existing capacity of 375 flights a day for its full-fare airline. Kingfisher Airlines, too, is shifting a majority of its flights to its low-fare carrier Kingfisher Red, which was created out of Air Deccan, the country’s first low-fare carrier, after it bought Deccan Aviation Ltd.
Jet Airways Konnect and JetLite will operate in different routes, without overlapping, Sudheer Raghavan, chief commercial officer, Jet Airways, told reporters on Thursday.
“The idea behind introducing Konnect is to offer an all-economy class service for certain routes which are highly price sensitive and do not need two-class configuration,” said
“Moreover, it is a laborious process to replace a Jet Airways aircraft with JetLite on a price sensitive route, considering the regulatory approvals. Technically, both Jet Airways and JetLite are two different entities with two different licenses. Here, it is very easy to deploy Jet Airways Konnect since it is Jet’s flight.”
Airlines are desperate to boost passenger traffic that’s slowed because of high fares and the ongoing economic slowdown. In 2008-09, airline passenger traffic in India slumped 10%.
Raghavan added that Konnect would be deployed on price-sensitive routes and can be pulled back when the market recovers. The airline may consider using Konnect at metro cities on non-peak hours and may even look at using it on international routes, “though nothing is on the cards as of now”, Raghavan said.
Jet Airways Konnect service will initially operate with two Boeing 737 and six ATR planes on sectors such as Chennai-Coimbatore, Chennai-Madurai, Chennai-Kochi, Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Bhopal, Mumbai-Udaipur, Bangalore-Pune and Bangalore-Mangalore.