Struggling Indian carrier Jet Airways has opened reservations for seventh daily flight between its hub Mumbai and Dubai. The airline has also launched third daily flight to Singapore from Mumbai. Both the flights are operational from 5th of December 2018.
At the onset of winter schedule, the airline had added a flight between Delhi and Dubai by cancelling its Kochi – Dubai flights. The seventh daily from Mumbai seems to be a replacement of Mangalore – Dubai flight which continues to be open for sale but only in higher fare classes. The timings in Dubai for the seventh daily are identical to those of the Mangalore flight.
The new flight will operate all days with below timings
9W 526 BOM 0210 – 0405 DXB
9W 525 DXB 0035 – 0515 BOM
With six other flights on offer, the airline offers connectivity via Mumbai to most its network in South and West while the Delhi – Dubai flights connect to North and East.
With this move, the airline will connect Dubai with Mumbai and Delhi only. I feel it is a smart move as the airline undergoes restructuring and possible change in ownership. These are hard times for the airline and it makes absolute sense to be stronger in one battle than fight multiple battles.
Interestingly, the airline operates only two flights to Abu Dhabi – the hub of Etihad which owns 24% of Jet Airways. Low Cost carriers IndiGo and Spicejet have concentrated on finding tier II cities to connect to Dubai with the former having flights from Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh in addition to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and the traditional southern market of Kozhikode, Kochi and Trivandrum and the latter flying to Dubai from Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Jaipur, Madurai, Mangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi and Kozhikode.
UAE is one of the rare examples where the seat allocation is done at each of the emirates and not at country level. India has a separate bilateral air services agreement with Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and another one with Al-Ain & Ras Al Khaimah clubbed together. With entitlements over on both sides, UAE has been negotiating for an increase of seats to Dubai for the last few years. The last of the discussions between India and UAE took place mid last month without any additional seats or points of call for either. The National Civil Aviation Policy of 2016, stipulates that the discussion for increase would take place after Indian side crosses 80% of allotted quota. Currently, the quota is as good as consumed from both the sides.
From the same date, Mumbai – Singapore sees an addition of third daily flight. The airline has been effectively managing capacity on this route with utilization of wide body and narrow body aircraft to cater to seasonal variations in traffic.
The new flight will operate at below timings
9W8 BOM 0635 – 1450 SIN
9W7 SIN 1550 – 1905 BOM
This will further strengthen its presence at Singapore, giving travellers more choice and connections via its Interline and codeshare partners like Jetstar Asia, Qantas and Garuda Indonesia.
This also helps the airline block seats in absence of increase in seats at both ends at Vistara aims to start international services soon and Singapore Airlines being 49% equity partner in Vistara.
As Jet Airways continues to look for options for survival, this renewed push seems to indicate that a plan is coming in place for its survival and that the airline is looking to redeploy its capacity from fare sensitive domestic market to international markets where some portion of ticket sales are done in USD. Combined with sliding rupee, this would help the airline in current times.
The airline currently has 5 B737 MAX8 aircraft in fleet and could use some of these for the new flights.