Mumbai: In a major shift in its domestic route network strategy, Jet Airways will now focus on providing direct connectivity between tier-II cities as it aims to penetrate deeper into such markets.
With a market share of a little over 18%, Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways group is facing an intense competition from the low cost carriers, which currently account for over 70% of the total domestic traffic.
This has compelled the Mumbai-based full service carrier to move to operating station-to-station flights from station-to-hub services till recently.
“For Jet Airways, it’s not only about connecting stations to hubs but it is about connecting stations to stations as well. That is where our network penetration and footprints are happening," says Praveen Iyer, vice president, commercial, for India sales.
As part of the new strategy, Jet Airways now provides connectivity with one tier-II city directly to another and from there to metros and subsequently to the hubs, he said.
“Jet airways as a network carrier will continue enhancing connectivity and choice to consumers, with the best possible fares," he said.
The airline has already announced launching of 56 weekly domestic flights, which include services to Coimbatore, Guwahati, Silchar, Jorhat, Jaipur among others, between this month and next month to further strengthen its network, offering last mile connectivity. It operates flight services to 44 domestic airports.
Following this, Jet Airways will be offering 17 flights daily from Pune, 11 from Coimbatore and another nine flights from Guwahati, Iyer said adding that the airline has seen growing travel demand to/from Pune, Coimbatore, Delhi, and North East.
At present, the Mumbai-based airline offers over 600 flights per day across its domestic network and another about 147 on international routes, along with its strategic investment partner Etihad Airways.
“There have been quite significant milestones for us as a carrier, more importantly as a full service carrier. Today, we are the only airline in the full service carrier category in the country, offering over one lakh seats per day and 20,000 flights per month across our network," Iyer said.
The entry of Jet Airways into the markets such as Madurai, Calicut from metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru has also helped these markets grow 50 to 120% in the last few months, he said.
In the last few months, Delhi-Madurai clocked 70% growth in traffic, Mumbai-Madurai saw a whopping 120% increase and air traffic on the Bengaluru-Calicut grew by 50%, he added.