Jet Airways, which suffered a loss of Rs 4,130 crore in 2013-14, today said it aims to turn profitable in the next three years and was planning a major overhaul of its fleet and products, months after Gulf carrier Etihad Airways picked up 24 per cent stake in it.
"We plan to reduce losses in 2015, consolidate in 2016 and turn profitable in 2017.... We are already on track as our international business has turned profitable. We now have to take our business forward," Jet Airways' CEO designate Cramer Ball told a press conference here. Ball is yet to get necessary clearances to formally take over his position.
The press conference was the first jointly addressed by Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal and Etihad Airways' President and CEO James Hogan after the Abu Dhabi carrier bought 24 per cent stake worth about Rs 2,060 crore in the Indian airline, marking the first FDI by a foreign carrier.
Both Hogan and Goyal focussed on Jet-Etihad partnership, saying it would mark Jet's progressive expansion to North and South Americas, Europe and Africa and lowering of operational costs due to combining of their fleet and routes of the two airlines, among other things.
Terming the Indian aviation market as "fiercely competitive", Ball said the next 12 months would see major changes being implemented to enhance Jet's domestic and international operations.
Goyal said, "We are in the process of finalising our new products, restructuring our financial balance sheet, working with banks and making payments to our creditors."
On whether restructuring of Jet fleet was also on the anvil and would its ATR turboprop fleet be transferred to its low-cost subsidiary JetLite, he said, "We are looking at it. We may sell our surplus aircraft or return them to lessors. We finding out what is the most economical way to go forward. We will be announcing all this soon."
Asked whether Etihad would consider increasing its equity stake in Jet from the current 24 per cent, Hogan said, "We have just completed the process (acquiring equity). We are delighted with our investment....We have stepped in as a partner."
Referring to the strategic direction of the Jet-Etihad partnership, the Etihad chief indicated taking on competition from global groupings like Star Alliance, which recently had Air India as its latest member, though he did not name any.
Etihad's equity investments in Virgin Australia, airberlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Air