Thursday, December 06, 2018

Jet Airways gets a lift as government allows French carriers to expand reach

New Delhi: India has allowed French airlines to operate flights to 29 destinations across the country through code share with Indian carriers, up from four at present, a move that will primarily benefit cash-strapped Jet Airways.
“Jet Airways and Air India had favoured this expansion from the Indian side and said that they would get passengers from flights of French carriers,” said a person aware of the matter, who did not wish to be identified.
This will help Jet Airways garner extra passengers and revenue since it has an enhanced cooperation agreement with Air France-KLM. French carriers are currently allowed to operate code-share flights to Ahmedabad, Goa, Amritsar and Kochi. Following the government’s go-ahead, the number of destinations will increase to 19 in the first phase and another 10 in the second phase, the person said.
Allowing code-share flights would enable Air France-KLM to sell tickets up to destinations in India where the French carrier does not fly but its Indian code-share partner flies. The pact between Jet Airways and Air France-KLM, signed in November 2017, gave the Mumbai-based carrier wider access to Europe and North America. The partnership significantly boosted Air France-KLM’s access to the Indian market, which is among the world’s fastest-growing.
KLM CEO Pieter Elbers had in September said that the airline was looking at expanding its alliance with Jet Airways to “the next level in terms of customer interface”. As part of the agreement, Indian carriers will get routing flexibility at French airports. “Routing flexibility would allow Indian carriers to transfer their passengers to a partner airline for onward flights beyond the airports in France, which may include those in the US and Canada,” said the person cited earlier.
If this happens, Jet Airways stands to gain as it can use the network of the US carrier Delta Air Lines to transfer its passengers to onward flights to the US. However, the French authorities rejected the Indian government’s request for “open skies” with India. Such an arrangement would have allowed French carriers to add unlimited number of flights to six key destinations in India.
06/12/18 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times