Jet Airways retreats from low cost sector

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Jet Airways will discontinue its Jet Konnect low-cost unit, as it seeks to consolidate its brand.

In an email to customers, the carrier said that market research indicates that the carrier’s two-tier branding – Jet Airways and JetKonnect – confuses customers, hence the need to bring clarity to the market.

“Over the coming months, you will see Jet Airways as a single brand reflected across our entire business, in the aircraft livery, staff uniforms, cabin interiors, product and service offering and our frequent flyer programme JetPrivilege,” says the carrier.

“The Jet Airways master brand will cover the whole fleet and all our aircraft will be progressively repainted in the Jet Airways livery over the coming months.”

The full service carrier will have two classes, business and economy, and frequent flyer reciprocity with Etihad Airways, which owns 24% of Jet.

On 23 July, Jet's chief executive-designate Cramer Ball said the carrier would undergo a major restructuring with an aim of returning the carrier to profitability in 2017. On 12 August, Jet reported that its first quarter operating loss rose 9% to Rs1.2 billion ($18.8 million) as higher fuel and aircraft lease rentals drove up expenses.

He said that Jet’s domestic business required serious reforms to remain viable.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database shows that Jet Airways has 70 aircraft in service: 58 Boeing 737s, five 777-300ERs and seven Airbus A330s. Ascend shows that all of these aircraft are leased, with BOC Aviation and GECAS the largest suppliers.

JetKonnect operates 33 aircraft, including 18 ATRs and 15 737s. Lessors to the low-cost unit include BOC Aviation, GECAS, AerCap, and CIT Aerospace.