Hyderabad: India’s largest airline by passengers carried Jet Airways (India) Ltd plans to join a global alliance soon, chairman Naresh Goyal said, changing its policy of reaching separate pacts with individual carriers.
Joining an alliance can take as long as 18 months and typically increases revenue by about 5%, depending on the network feed and the agreements signed between member airlines and the alliance.
Goyal’s announcement follows Kingfisher Airlines Ltd’s February declaration that it was signing a memorandum of understanding to join oneworld alliance by 2011.
National carrier Air India is a part of Star Alliance, the largest grouping of airlines worldwide, but is yet to integrate operations with it. SkyTeam is the other major airline alliance.
Goyal did not reveal which alliance he would opt for. “Everybody has offered, (but) we haven’t yet decided which alliance (to join). We are studying everything,” he said.
Jet is aligned closely with members of Star Alliance. For instance, it already has a code sharing agreement with Air Canada.
Wolfgang Mayrhuber, chairman of the board and chief executive of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s second largest airline, had told Mint last month that Star Alliance was open to absorbing two Indian carriers into its fold.
Lufthansa sponsored Air India’s entry into Star Alliance, while British Airways Plc is sponsoring Kingfisher’s entry into oneworld.
Goyal refused to confirm if Jet would opt for Star Alliance. “It takes time,” he said.
Jet currently serves its US and North America operations from its hub in Brussels, and has code share agreements with American Airlines, Qantas, Etihad, All Nippon Airways, Brussels Airlines and Malaysian.
Kingfisher’s oneworld entry could call into question some of Jet’s code share agreements with other members of the alliance, said a London-based analyst, who declined to be named.