Monday, October 13, 2008

Jet Airways Suspends San Francisco-Mumbai Flights

Jet Airways will discontinue flights between San Francisco and Mumbai effective January 13, 2009. According to airline officials, the suspension is necessary to cut down on low performing flights. You may recall Jet Airways only began flying from SFO in June.

"We are suspending the flight on a temporary basis...because of the current economic situation we had to rationalise our network and take out the low-performing flights," said Sudheer Raghavan, chief commercial officer.

Although Jet Airways is a notable International airline with 400 daily flights throughout India and the globe, the airline was a complete newcomer to the San Francisco market. Jet Airways (softly) introduced the market to direct flights to India, but failed to offer compelling reasons for passengers comfortable with the status-quo to make the switch to a relatively unknown carrier.

If Jet Airways does decide to resume flights in the San Francisco market - and I hope they do, I suggest the airline re-introduce themselves on the following key strengths:
  • Frequent flier program benefits; little, if any, communication was said about partnerships with U.S-based airlines to earn miles while flying Jet Airways. For example, Northwest and American Airlines both permit mileage accrual on some or all of Jet Airways flights.
  • Product offered; Jet Airways operates a new Boeing 777-300ER on the San Francisco route, complete with the latest technological advances that put fun back into flying, and has 10 Boeing 787 'Dreamliner' planes on order. Compare that to other airlines operating older style aircraft lacking modern day comforts, style and ammenities.
  • Brand name; while not recognized much on the West Coast, Jet Airways is the largest carrier in India and operates flights to several dozen cities throughout the world.