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Jet to end Milan flights to cut loss

Last updated on: January 16, 2013 09:53 IST

Jet to end Milan flights to cut loss

Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai

et Airways is suspending Delhi-Milan flights from next month in a route rationalisation exercise. While Jet continues to expand in the Gulf sector, it is curtailing long haul operations to cut down loss. Over the last few months Jet pulled out of Johannesburg and New York (JFK) routes.

"In view of the ongoing global economic slowdown and in particular the current economic crisis in the Eurozone countries, Jet Airways on Tuesday announced that it has decided to temporarily withdraw its Airbus A330 daily direct service between New Delhi and Milan from Feb 1.

As part of the on-going network rationalisation program of the airline, one of the fiscal controlling measures adopted by the Management has been the withdrawal of loss making routes and redeployment of those assets and capacities on other routes and destinations, where profitability will be better,'' the airline said in a statement.

Jet did not disclose how it will redeploy the airbus A330 which currently flies to Milan. Both Johannesburg and New York too were served by the same aircraft type. It flies Boeing 777 on London routes. The airline made a loss of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) on  stand alone basis in second quarter, a weak season for travel. While domestic operations resulted in loss international operations made Rs 45 crore (Rs 450 million) profit in the period.

While competition from South African Airways was responsible for loss on Johannesburg route the Milan flight was impacted because of inconvenient timing. According to a source " The arrival timing of Jet's Milan flight was in the evening which was not convenient for businessmen and corporates. Passengers to onward destinations like Mumbai or Chennai (beyond  Delhi) need to do the customs and immigration check there and then  and take a domestic flight. That too was not found to be a popular amongst travellers.''

According to a Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation report, Jet's capacity last month was 11 per cent lower in comparison to December 2011 and it slipped seven places to 46 in grouping of 50 biggest airlines.  On the other hand, IndiGo's capacity increased 34.6 per cent and it moved to 11th rank up by three places in the list of 25 biggest low-cost airlines.

Earlier this month IndiGo too rejigged its Singapore operations. The airline is withdrawing flights from Mumbai and Delhi and is adding Chennai-Singapore flights.