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Video - Indian Jet Airways is spreading its wings

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It was in the very chic Parisian George V hotel, at a press conference on May 14th., that Jet Airways announced the launch of its first Paris-Bombay direct flight, from that very same day. A new route which indicates, amongst other things, the domestic and international network development strategy of India's biggest private company. Launched in 1993, Jet Airways currently serves 55 airports in India, and twenty international destinations, but has no intention of stopping there. With the arrival of Etihad Airways' 24 % interest just one year ago, the company now intends to strengthen its network thanks mainly to two hubs.

Emmanuel N. Menu - Jet Airways Vice President, Continental Europe :

"At the international level there are two major parts to the development. The first is that which we will provide via the platform at Abu Dhabi. The second part is aimed at strengthening our hub at Mumbai ( Bombay if you prefer ), where we are the leading carrier."

To stay on course, Jet Airways, which currently operates a fleet of 112 aircraft, is considering the purchase of new long-hauls within the next five years. The market is promising. Today, out of India's one billion inhabitants, only 1 in 20 takes a 'plane, but this should increase five fold by 2034. Prospects that should give an impetus to carriers, and not for nothing, because if only six Indian companies today share the domestic market, there are good underlying reasons.

Emmanuel N. Menu - Jet Airways Vice President, Continental Europe :

"What you should bear in mind is that operating an airline in India is a highly expensive activity. We always think that, in India, things are cheap, well, commercial aviation is not. The aviation operational costs in India are high. Several companies have already tried, and certain have disappeared."

With India's expected growth in domestic traffic of 10 %, per year, over the next 20 years, and the strengthening of its platforms in Bombay, Delhi and Abu Dhabi, what remains to be seen, is whether Jet Airways can allow itself the luxury of remaining, perhaps just a little, over optimistic.

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