Vancouver: Having received the required government clearances for ‘JetLite´ or the erstwhile Air Sahara, Jet Airways is open to the idea of operating its low-cost arm on international sectors in the future.
“We are studying that aspect.... (and) keeping our minds open. At the moment, JetLite will operate on domestic sectors,” Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) here.
He said if low-cost airlines from the Gulf and southeast Asia are allowed to operate in India, “we can ask the government” whether JetLite could fly abroad.
However, “at the moment our priority is to see that JetLite breaks even first”, he said.
Claiming that the financial results of the new carrier “are already better”, Goyal said, “we will definitely break even by next year”.
Pointing out that several aircraft of the former Air Sahara were grounded due to technical and engineering problems, he said most of these planes would soon start operating and “by September 1, the entire fleet of JetLite will start flying”.
He said governmental clearances, including those from the Registrar of Companies, have been received for JetLite.
“We are now finalising the new logo and the livery of the new carrier”, the Jet chief said, but did not elaborate.
He said the logo would reflect the “new spirit and the pride of modern India”.
JetLite would operate on a profitable model, like that of JetStar of Qantas, SouthWest Airlines or the LCC models of Air Asia or Air Arabia.
While packed lunch or dinner would be offered on board, JetLite planes would have a single-class configuration with “comfortable seats”, Goyal said, claiming that reliability of service, comfort and on-time performance would be touchstones of the new low-cost carrier.
Asked whether the two airlines would continue to fly on the same routes Jet Airways and the former Air Sahara were operating earlier, he said work was going on rationalisation of routes.
He said the airport and engineering staff of the two airlines would remain the same, while the cabin crew of JetLite would be trained by the Jet Airways.
Observing that “growth must sustain profitability”, Goyal said: “We are very cautious on this count. Our company must be good for the shareholders and provide them with profitability.”
Speaking on the airline’s new acquisitions, the Jet chief said the new wide-bodied Boeing 777s, which would be inducted in the near future, would have “unmatched” in-flight product “which will be even better than those offered by big carriers” like the Singapore Airlines.
The economy class seats were also being designed to give much more space to the passenger, including fully reclining seats, Goyal said.