Low-fare flights put Jet back to top slot

Low-fare flights put Jet back to top slot

Mumbai: Jet Airways (India) Ltd’s decision to introduce all-economy and no-frill services seems to be paying off. After a gap of eight months, the Mumbai-based carrier has regained the top slot, in terms of passenger carried, from rival Kingfisher Airlines Ltd in July.

According to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data, released on Wednesday, the market share of Jet Airways and its low-fare unit JetLite (India) Ltd, stood at 26.3% in July against 23.9% in June. Kingfisher’s market share dropped to 23% in July from 24.4% in June. Air India’s market share fell to 16.2% in July from 17.5% in June.

Delhi-based low-fare carrier IndiGo run by InterGlobe Aviation Pvt. Ltd has retained its status as the largest low-fare carrier with a market share of 14% in July, up from 13.6% in June.

“In July, Jet Airways became the largest domestic carrier in terms of passengers carried. This is mainly because of our introduction of all-economy service Jet Airways Konnect," said Jet Airways chief commercial officer Sudheer Raghavan.

“Jet Konnect was a well thought-out strategy in the context of the general economic slowdown. Passengers from other full-service carriers as well as low-fare carriers have shifted to Jet Konnect," Raghavan added. Jet Airways plans to offer Jet Konnect services on two-thirds of its fleet of 83 planes.

“Currently, one-third of Jet Airways capacity is operated under the brand of Jet Konnect. By October, we will be increasing it to two-thirds by deploying 19 Boeing 737 planes and 10 ATR planes," the airline’s chief executive officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer had said last month. Some international routes will be added to the low-fare service, he had said.

Seat occupancy on Jet Airways has risen while that on other airlines registered a decline, according to DGCA data. While Jet’s seat occupancy ratio rose from 67.8% in June to 69.7% in July, Air India’s plunged from 67.9% to 58.3%.