India's Jet Airways eyeing Gulf skies


Indian private carrier Jet Airways plans to expand its low-cost airline into Gulf routes this year as it seeks to widen its reach to tap growing demand, the regional chief said on Tuesday.


"Jet Life, our low cost airline, could fly into this region in four to five months. It could include the UAE, too," Abraham Joseph, senior general manager for the Gulf, Middle East and North Africa, told a news conference on Tuesday.


"We are in advanced talks to get rights to fly to more cities in the Gulf states – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Muscat, and others," he said, announcing the launch of daily direct flights from Mumbai and New Delhi to Abu Dhabi starting April 23.


Jet Airways, which flies to all six Gulf states, has an average load factor of around 65 per cent. "We expect this to grow to at least 70 to 75 per cent in two years," Joseph said.


Jet expects international revenues to contribute at least 50 per cent of total revenues by 2010 from the current 30 per cent, Joseph said.


The airline flies to 16 international destinations. (Reuters)