As we commemorate 20 years of serving our guests and emerging along the way as India’s most preferred airline, do join us on our little flight down memory lane as we relive the past and look ahead towards a bright future.
Following Jet Airways’ success story in the Indian skies and the growing liberalisation in the industry, we embarked on the first phase of international expansion in March 2004 with the commencement of flights between Chennai and Colombo. We thus became the first private Indian airline to fly to international destinations, setting a benchmark for other airlines to emulate in the Indian civil aviation sector. Chennai-Colombo was followed in quick succession by the launch of flights from Delhi to Kathmandu in May 2004. By late 2007, Jet Airways had opened new international routes to important tourist and business traffic destinations such as Singapore, Bangkok, and London, and flown over 75 million passengers.
The induction of newer, next generation aircraft enabled us to further upgrade our product offerings on the longhaul international routes and add more destinations to our network. On August 5, 2007, we commenced operations to Newark via Brussels, becoming India’s first private sector airline to operate scheduled services across the North Atlantic quickly followed by another daily long haul Trans-Atlantic flight to Toronto.
The choice of Brussels as our European hub was a strategically important decision in the long run due to its geographic location. It was accompanied by our signing a wide-ranging marketing agreement with Brussels Airlines to work closely in providing our guests with seamless connections to and from Europe, USA, Canada, Africa and India. In the last five years we have enhanced connectivity around the world through codeshare partnerships with several reputed airlines including Air Canada, ANA, American Airlines, Kenya Airways, Qantas and United Airlines. We also provide world-class frequent flyer benefits to our guests through alliances with major airlines such as Air France, Alitalia, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Emirates, Gulf Air, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic.
The success of our international product and service is evidenced by the rapid pace at which we have grown in the overseas air travel market. By April 2008, our international operations had expanded exponentially to include flights to Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Jet Airways’ reputation as one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world was further enhanced in 2008 with our foray into the Gulf, which has proved to be an important sector for us due to the high trade and tourism between India and the Gulf region. Constantly monitoring guest preferences is a priority for us, and this has lead to the addition of multiple new frequencies and routes from cities across India to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Muscat, Riyadh and Sharjah.
As we look back at the last two decades, we feel satisfaction and justifiable pride at having grown from being India’s best and most preferred domestic airline to India’s premier international airline with flights to 72 destinations that span the length and breadth of India and beyond.
© Jet Airways (India) Ltd.