Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jet Airways puts on hold Bangalore-NY flight

Jet Airways puts on hold Bangalore-NY flight

Chidambaram opens Jet’s Brussels hub

Flying high

Chennai-New York flight via Brussels to be launched on October 26.

Jet in talks to build a hotel in Brussels.

Plans to connect Hyderabad, Kolkata, Amritsar and Ahmedabad to the US via Brussels.

Phalguna Jandhyala

Brussels, Sept. 21 Jet Airways has put on hold its plans of connecting Bangalore and New York (John F. Kennedy International Airport) through Brussels due to the non-availability of slots in Bangalore.

“The airline has decided to launch a flight from Chennai to JFK through Brussels from October 26 this year. The decision has been taken primarily because the availability of slots at Bangalore was an issue. We, however, hope to sort the problem out by next year and launch a flight from Bangalore to New York soon,” Mr Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways told the media in Brussels after the launch of the international hub of the airline.

The hub was inaugurated by the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, at the Brussels airport, making Jet Airways the first private Indian airline to have full scale operations outside the country. The hub is a partnership between Jet Airways, Brussels Airlines and Brussels Airports.

“Jet Airways is the only Asian airline to have a European hub which would open many opportunities for the company,” Mr Goyal said. The airline hopes to utilise the Brussels hub and its tie-up with Brussels Airline to offer passengers from Scandinavian countries, Spain, Switzerland and Germany and several cities in the United Kingdom like Birmingham and Manchester easy passage to and from India.

Initially, the airline plans to operate 10 daily flights from its Brussels hub, connecting Indian cities to points in the US and Canada. Plans have also been drawn up so that passengers from Africa can use the Brussels hub to travel to and from India.

“Passengers travelling from various cities in India can use Brussels as a transit point for travel to the US, Canada, Europe and Africa. We are also working to see that at no point will a passenger have to stay for more that two-and-half hours in transit, which would reduce his travelling time,” Mr Goyal said.

Apart from this the airline is also in talks to build a hotel in Brussels. “We are in negotiations to operate flights to Shanghai, Hong Kong and several other international destinations from India which would help passengers from Europe and the US going through Brussels. These passengers would be able to travel from Brussels to India on Jet and then connect with another of our flights easily. If the hotel comes up here then it would help passengers to have a longer stop over, this would also help the economy of the area also to grow,” he said.

The airline expects close to one million passengers to travel through its Brussels hub and handle about 60,000 tonnes of cargo annually. The airline also plans to connect Hyderabad, Kolkata, Amritsar and Ahmedabad to the US through its Brussels hub. Jet Airways would, however, have to wait for Government approval before launching these flights, Mr Goyal said.


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