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Kuwait's Jazeera Airways keen to spread its wings in Indian skies

April 18, 2019 18:09 IST

Jazeera Airways started flying to India 18 months ago, servicing Ahmadabad, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi and Mumbai.

Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways is opening six new routes and seeking additional traffic rights from India to grow its presence in the country.

One of its new destinations is London, and Jazeera Airways will become the first low-cost airline from a Gulf state to fly to the British capital from June, said airline’s chief executive officer Rohit Ramachandran.

 

The airline, however, is not interested in acquisitions and will grow organically. Jazeera Airways is the region's first non-government-owned airline and is operating to India for the past one year and a half.

It flies to five Indian cities - Ahmedabad, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, and Mumbai.

Ramachandran said India was the biggest single market for the airline and the company was looking to increase its seat entitlements.

Currently, Indian and Kuwaiti carriers are entitled to 12,000 seats per week.

“The last time seat revision was done in 2007. There is a need to increase the allocation. Even if it is tripled, it will not be enough,” he said.

The lowest seat factor on Indian routes is 86 per cent and the airline gets mix of both migrant workers, corporate, and leisure tourist traffic from India, he said.

Only around 11 per cent of its traffic from India flies onward from Kuwait, and Ramachandran hopes to attract budget travellers from India on its London service.

"We will offer hot meals on the six-hour-long Kuwait-London flight," he said.

Currently, the airline flies to 27 destinations and along with London it will launch flights to Kathmandu, Dhaka, Al Ain (UAE), Bodrum, and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport (Turkey).

Photograph: Reuters

Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai
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