Jet Airways

Jet Airways

airline = Jet Airways

logo_size =300
fleet_size = 84 (+ 48 Orders)
destinations = 64
callsign = JET AIRWAYS
parent = Tailwinds Limited
company_slogan = The Joy of Flying
founded = 1993
frequent_flyer = Jet Privilege
headquarters = Mumbai, India
key_people = Naresh Goyal, founder and chairman
hubs =

*Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport ("primary hub")
*Indira Gandhi International Airport

|secondary_hubs =


| focus_cities =


lounge = Jet Lounge
alliance =
subsidiaries =

*Jet Cargo

website =

Jet Airways is an airline based in Mumbai, India. It is the country's second-largest international airline after Air India and the largest domestic airline. It operates over 400 daily flights to 64 destinations. Its primary base is Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport with secondary hubs at Bangalore, Brussels, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. [ [ Jet Airways India | Complete airline information at a glance ] ]

In July 2008, it was honored as the world's best long-haul airline after Singapore Airlines. [ [ PORT2PORT - Israel's Trade Portal ] ] In a poll conducted in September 2008, it was voted as the world's seventh best airline overall. [] Jet Airways has also won an award for the quality of its catering. [ [ Jet Airways bags award - ] ] [ [ The Peninsula On-line: Qatar's leading English Daily ] ] According to March 2008 figures, Jet Airways share of India's domestic aviation market stood at 29.8%, including its low-cost subsidiary JetLite's share of 7.1%, making it the largest airline in India. However, the airline faces competition from other domestic carriers like Kingfisher Airlines, SpiceJet and IndiGo Airlines. [ [ Hindu Businessline - India aviation] ]


Jet Airways was incorporated as an air taxi operator on 1 April 1992. It started commercial airline operations on 5 May 1993 with a fleet of 4 Boeing 737-300 aircraft. In January 1994, a change in the law enabled Jet Airways to apply for scheduled airline status, which was granted on 4 January 1995. It began international operations to Sri Lanka in March 2004. While the company is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 80% of its stock is controlled by Naresh Goyal (through his ownership of Jet’s parent company, Tailwinds, and has 10,017 employees (at March 2007). [ [ Jet Airways India | Know investment options, shareholding structure, listings & stock codes ] ]

Naresh Goyal, who already owned Jetair (Private) Limited, which provided sales and marketing for foreign airlines in India, set up Jet Airways as a full-service scheduled airline to compete against state-owned Indian Airlines. Indian Airlines had enjoyed a monopoly in the domestic market between 1953, when all major Indian air transport providers were nationalised under the Air Corporations Act (1953), and January 1994, when the Air Corporations Act was repealed, following which Jet Airways received scheduled airline status.

Jet Airways and Air Sahara were the only private airlines to survive the Indian business downturn of the early 1990s. In January 2006, Jet Airways announced that it would buy Air Sahara for US$500 million in an all-cash deal, making it the biggest takeover in Indian aviation history. The resulting airline would have been the country's largest [cite web | url = | title = Indian airline Jet Airways is to buy rival carrier Air Sahara in a deal worth $500 m (£284 m). |date=2006-01-19 | publisher = BBC News] but the deal fell through in June 2006.

On 12 April 2007, Jet Airways agreed to buy out Air Sahara for 14.5 billion rupees (US$340 million). Air Sahara was renamed JetLite, and was marketed between a low-cost carrier and a full service airline. In August 2008, Jet Airways announced its plans to completely integrate JetLite into Jet Airways. []


Jet Airways serves 64 destinations by itself and 22 destinations across the world through Code Sharing. In addition to destinations across India and other parts of the Indian subcontinent (Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu), Jet Airways expanded international operations to include destinations in Asia (Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai [ending January 13] , Singapore), Europe (Brussels, London), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Dubai , Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Muscat) and North America (New York, Newark, San Francisco [ending January 13] , Toronto). By July 2007, it was connecting India with over 50 international destinations. []

Jet Airways operates a scissors-hub in Brussels, with four Indian cities (Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai) connected to three North American cities (New York, Newark, Toronto).

Jet Airways will end service to Shanghai, China and San Francisco on January 13, 2009.


As of June 2008, the average age of Jet Airways fleet was 4.1 years [ [ Jet Airways Fleet Age] ] .

Retired Fleet

In-Flight Services

With the arrival of its new Boeing 777-35RER and Airbus A330-200 aircraft, Jet Airways has introduced a new cabin with upgraded seats in all classes. The Boeing 777-35RER aircraft has three classes of service: First, Première (Business), and Economy. The Airbus A330 aircraft have two classes: Première and Economy. All Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft have this feature. Boeing 737 aircraft are configured differently. Jet Airways has a three-star rated Business and First Class, and is in the top twenty-five business classes reviewed by Skytrax. Economy class has been reviewed as a three-star product by Skytrax.

First Class

First class is available on all Boeing 777 aircraft. All seats convert to a fully-flat bed, similar to Singapore Airlines suites but smaller. It was the second airline in the world to have private suites. (Emirates Airline were first, introducing the private suites in 2003 on their Airbus A340-500s). All seats have a 15-inch widescreen LCD monitor with audio-video on-demand (AVOD), in seat power supply, and USB ports etc. Jet Airways is the second airline in India to have fully-enclosed first class suites on its aircraft; each suite has a closeable door, making for a private compartment. It is the ninth-best first class in the world as conducted by Skytrax. The only airlines that surpass Jet in first class are Singapore Airlines and Emirates Airline.

Première Class

Première Class (Business Class) on the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 International Fleet has a fully-flat bed with AVOD entertainment. Seats are configured in a herringbone pattern (1-2-1 on the Boeing 777, and 1-1-1 on the Airbus A330), with each seat offering direct access to the aisle. USB ports and in-seat laptop power are provided. Mood Lighting is installed on the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777, with light schemes corresponding to the time of day and flight position.

On the short-haul/domestic Boeing 737, all new aircraft are equipped with AVOD. All seats are standard recliner business-class seats with a few newer aircraft with electronic recline and massager.

Economy Class

Economy class on the Airbus A330,Boeing 737 and Boeing 777 has 32-inch seat pitch. All Boeing 777/Airbus A330, as well as some Boeing 737 aircraft, have a touch screen AVOD system. Seats on the Boeing 777/Airbus A330 have a "hammock-style" net footrest. The cabin is configured in 3-3-3 abreast on the Boeing 777, 2-4-2 on the Airbus A330, and 3-3 in the Boeing 737.

Codeshares Agreement

Jet Airways has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
*Air Canada
*All Nippon Airways
*American Airlines
*Brussels Airlines
*Emirates Airline (starts October 2008) []
*Etihad Airways
*Qantas Airways
*United Airlines (starts November 2008)

Awards & Achievements

Jet Airways has won awards recognising its service quality. Most recently, Jet was recognised for the excellence and quality of its service and in-flight experience in the ‘Airline of the Year Category’ at the “Which? awards [ [ Jet Airways voted Worlds Best Airlines ] ] . Over 70 global airlines were assessed on multiple service parameters, including cabin staff, pre-flight service, cleanliness, comfort, food and value for money.

Jet Airways became the world's second airline to introduce private First Class Suites in the air (Boeing 777-35RER).


Jet Airways was formerly involved in a couple of controversies during the early days of its international operations:

Issues with US authorities

It took Jet Airways more than two years to get the necessary clearances from US authorities to fly to the United States. The US State Department gave the go ahead on 15 November 2006. Jet was initially expected to begin service to Newark via Brussels in June 2005 but a problem arose in March 2005, when the airline submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nancy Heckerman, CEO of US company Jet Airways Inc. based in Bethesda, Maryland, opposed the application in letters to the Transportation Department alleging trademark infringement. Though the litigation is still unresolved, the Department of Transportation concluded it was not a reason to prevent Jet from flying to the U.S. [ / Home UK / UK - Jet Airways denies links with al-Qaeda ] ]

A second and more serious allegation that delayed Jet Airways being permitted to fly to the United States focused on its opaque ownership structure as well as its alleged links to organized crime in India and abroad. Jet Airways was originally set up as a subsidiary of Tailwinds, an Isle of Man-based holding company designed as a tax shelter, whose sole shareholder was Naresh Goyal, the airline's NRI founder and chairman. [ [ Jet's Goyal owns 18 firms apart from Tail Winds ] ] Initially, both Gulf Air and Kuwait Airways had acquired minority stakes in the airline. However, the Government of India subsequently decreed that foreign airlines would not be allowed to own any shares in any Indian airline (though other foreign entities and individuals could still acquire/own minority stakes in Indian carriers. [ [ Jet Airways (India) Private Limited | International Directory of Company Histories | Find Articles at BNET ] ]

As a result of this ruling Gulf Air and Kuwait Airways sold their stakes to Naresh Goyal who then became the airline's sole shareholder. Jet Airways floated a minority stake of around 20% on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2005 to enable it to reduce the debt that had been accumulated since its inception as well as to fund its fleet expansion programme, including the acquisition of a fleet of new Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 long-haul widebodied jets to operate new long range services, primarily to Europe and North America. This resulted in a reduction of Tailwind's stake in the airline to just below 80%. [ Is Jet IPO a good bet? ] ] According to the company's articles of association, the bulk of Naresh Goyal's shares in Tailwinds are held on behalf of several other individuals who all seem to be resident citizens of India. While Indian government officials have been satisfied that these arrangements do not compromise Jet Airways' status as an Indian-owned airline that is effectively controlled by Indian citizens, they were viewed as "problematic" by the American authorities.

The US aviation authorities were also concerned about the controversy surrounding Naresh Goyal's citizenship. There have been reports in the Indian media that he was an Indian-born, naturalized German citizen, with legal permanent residence in the UK. India's citizenship laws barring dual citizenship for Indian passport holders have recently been amended permitting Indian citizens to take up another country's citizenship, baring Pakistan and Bangladesh, without forfeiting their Indian citizenship as long as that country permits dual citizenship. [ [ What was Jet chief's first job? ] ] [ 6 questions to ask before buying Jet's IPO ] ] This does not apply to Germany as it does not allow dual citizenship in general cases, unlike the UK, US, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands for instance, which do allow dual citizenship. [ [] ]

Had these media reports turned out to be true confirming that Jet Airways was effectively controlled by Naresh Goyal through his majority ownership of Tailwinds, the US authorities might have construed this as a violation of the "open skies" bilateral air services agreement between India and the US as well as international aviation law. Aviation law states that an airline must be substantially owned and controlled by citizens of the country where it is based in order to qualify as a "flag carrier" representing that country. This means that if Jet Airways were effectively controlled by a German rather than an Indian citizen, its traffic rights between India and the US and possibly other countries as well might need to be renegotiated under the German-US "open skies" bilateral aviation accord. In addition, the US and other countries could ask the Indian Government for further concessions for their own designated flag carriers providing scheduled air services to/from India if Jet Airways wanted to protect its international traffic rights from/to India. This, in turn, could lead the company's Indian-based competitors to complain to the Indian authorities that Jet Airways was not a "genuine" Indian flag carrier and might potentially result in competitors applying for the revocation of Jet Airways' operating permit and traffic rights (in India and abroad) [ [ Tehelka - The People's Paper ] ] .

British contractor controversy

The latest controversy arose when Asmin Tariq, a British contractor of Pakistani descent, who was working for the airline as a security agent at Heathrow Airport (and was subsequently made a member of staff when the airline decided to bring its London-based security operation in-house) became implicated in the foiled terror plot of 10 August 2006 to blow up over several weeks up to ten transatlantic airliners belonging to three different US airlines in mid-air on their way from London to New York, Newark and Los Angeles [ [ UK seeks information on Jet- Jet Airways-'J' Companies-Companies A-Z-News By Company-News-The Economic Times ] ] . Asmin Tariq had been arrested along with the other 20+ suspects and is now in British police custody. In addition, he has also been suspended from duty by Jet Airways. When asked how such a person could have been employed by the airline in a position demanding extreme confidence and trust, Jet Airways defended its conduct by saying that the person was a UK passport holder who had passed the stringent security requirements of BAA, Heathrow's owner and operator. They also said that under UK employment legislation the company was obliged to offer any permanent appointments to former contractors once the contract that formed the basis of their original employment had been terminated.


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Indian Aviation Business] news report on Bloomberg
* [ News timeline for Jet Airways]
* [ Jet Airways buyout of Air Sahara on BBC news]

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