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Jet Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways 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, it has been announced.
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 percent 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, reciprocal 'earn and burn' rights and tier level recognition on the JetPrivilege and Etihad Guest frequent flyer programmes, said a report.
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, it said.
They continue to explore collaborative purchasing opportunities for fuel, spare parts, insurance and technology support, it added.
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 for laying the foundations for a return to profitability, including long-term network, and 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, the report said.
In addition, the domestic business model is aimed at improving 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.
Ball 46, an Australian national, is a certified accountant and an accomplished airline executive with