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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 24/07/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) E wide-ranging partnership has numerous advantages for travellers including enhanced connections across the world through an expanded codeshare agreement.

Cramer Ball Naresh Goyal and James Hogan during a joint Press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. Jet Airways and Etihad Airways also stand to benefit from cost savings and synergies in areas such as fleet acquisition maintenance product development and training. — Supplied photo

Etihad Airways the national airline of the UAE and Jet Airways India’s premier international airline have outlined plans to reinforce their long-term commitment to the growth of India’s economy and aviation industry including a major new turnaround strategy for Jet Airways to return to profitability in three years.

The two airlines have been codeshare partners since 2008 and their relationship was strengthened in November 2013 after Etihad Airways received approvals to acquire a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways marking it the first investment by a foreign carrier in India’s airline industry.

The wide-ranging partnership has numerous advantages for travellers including enhanced connections across the world through an expanded codeshare agreement and reciprocal ‘earn and burn’ rights and tier level recognition on the JetPrivilege and Etihad Guest frequent flyer programmes.

Jet Airways and Etihad Airways also stand to benefit from cost savings and synergies in areas such as fleet acquisition maintenance product development and training and continue to explore collaborative purchasing opportunities for fuel spare parts insurance and technology support.

Supporting the partnership the Jet Airways Board recently approved a three-year business plan to reshape the airline and secure its long-term future. The plan incorporates a series of critical measures that lay the foundations for a return to profitability such as long-term network fleet and product developments to optimise the airline’s domestic and international operations.

Focus areas for international operations will include network developments including new services to markets such as Europe China Australia and Southeast Asia expanded frequencies to existing routes and additional codeshares. Jet Airways’ two and three class aircraft product will also be enhanced and the seat count optimised on wide-body Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

In addition the domestic business model will improve connectivity across India and worldwide while removing complexity in product and fleet including the standardisation and reconfiguration of the Boeing 737 fleet.

To initiate the three-year turnaround plan the Jet Airways board and management team have already worked with auditors to clean up its balance sheet and write down overvalued non-cash assets.

Jet Airways has announced a new team at the helm with Cramer Ball as its new chief executive officer and Subodh Karnik as the chief operating officer pending regulatory approval.

Naresh Goyal chairman of Jet Airways said: “The coming together of Jet Airways and Etihad Airways has already proved a success for the two airlines and importantly has been beneficial for travellers and will also bring significant benefits to the Indian economy both in terms of growth job creation trade and tourism.”

James Hogan president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways said: “India represents a considerable opportunity for airlines worldwide with more than 42 million international travellers reported last year and impressive future growth rates predicted by IATA. The challenge is ensuring that our industry is efficiently catering to rising demand not only in India’s major destinations but also smaller cities that remain largely unconnected and underserved.

“The Etihad Airways and Jet Airways partnership has significantly improved connectivity between India and the UAE and through our combined network and codeshare partnerships with other airlines the Indian public has convenient access to destinations across the Gulf region Middle East Africa Europe and North America.”

— businesskhaleejtimes.com


Khaleej Times

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