Home / Companies / People /  Jet Airways is not Etihad’s feeder airline, says Naresh Goyal

Mumbai: Jet Airways (India) Ltd has not become a feeder airline for Etihad Airways PJSC, its chairman Naresh Goyal said on Friday.

“Abu Dhabi is our gateway but we have helped to increase traffic at both Mumbai and Delhi airports. Air India is now a member of the Star Alliance, so does it mean it has become a feeder of Star Alliance airlines," Goyal asked.

Jet Airways’ continued efforts to build its home hubs in Mumbai and New Delhi have seen its transfer traffic grow by 35% in Mumbai and by 13% in New Delhi, he said.

“Our partnership with Jet Airways is generating traction. Etihad and Jet Airways have together flown more passengers to India than flying them out. We have increased our capacity to India and are looking to introduce an Airbus A380 plane on the Mumbai route from the first half of next year," Etihad Airways president and chief executive James Hogan said.

“Our partnership strategy has provided value to Jet Airways in excess of $2.5 billion and is delivering lower operating costs and greater efficiency for our two airlines, and contributing strongly to the Indian economy," Hogan said.

“Most importantly we are delivering more choice to consumers flying to, from and within India," he added. “In just over one year, our partnership has made significant progress, but there are still many challenges to tackle, but also exciting opportunities ahead."

The two airlines together offer more flights to and from India than any other airline, with a 21% share of the country’s booming international air travel market.

Since Etihad Airways’ 24% investment in Jet Airways was finalized in November 2013, the two airlines have increased the number of direct routes between India and Abu Dhabi from nine to 15, introduced wide-bodied aircraft on key routes and increased flights in some markets.

Hogan said that the airlines now offer a combined total of 40,000 seats each way, each week between India and Abu Dhabi. This has resulted in more choice and better connectivity for travellers flying out and into India from across the world, he said.

In the first six months of 2015, Etihad Airways transferred more than 235,000 passengers onto Jet Airways’ network into India through its codeshare partnership, with Jet Airways providing 182,000 travellers to the Etihad Airways network.

Goyal said: “Our strategic collaboration with Etihad Airways includes network integration, joint sales effort, sharing of resources, collaborated procurement and knowledge transfer. All of these have enabled us to leverage cost advantages and economies of scale to the eventual benefit of our guests, as well as our employees."

Hogan said Etihad is here to stay and there is no exit strategy

“Etihad Airways is an active investor and a strategic partner. We provided fresh capital and financial stability for Jet Airways, assisted global network growth, increased flight connectivity, and delivered efficiencies through activities including joint procurement and resource sharing," Hogan said.

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