It’s been over half a year since Jet Airways halted operations due to financial issues. Now it appears that several airlines are stepping in to fill the void left by the Indian full-service carrier. According to CAPA Centre for Aviation, Air India and Virgin Atlantic will be adding some services to pick-up where Jet Airways left off.
Air India: Amritsar – London Stansted
According to Business Traveller, Air India will launch the direct, nonstop service between London Stansted and the city of Amritsar later this month. Amritsar is located in the northwestern portion of India, close to the border with Pakistan.
Commencing October 31st, this service will operate three times weekly. Furthermore, it holds the title of the first ever nonstop scheduled service between London Stansted and India. Sources report that the route will be flown by a two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner configured to carry 256 passengers: 18 in business and 238 in economy.
Virgin Atlantic: London Heathrow to Mumbai
Adding to air traffic between the United Kingdom and India is the new Virgin Atlantic service between London Heathrow and Mumbai. According to The Independent, the British airline first flew to the major Indian city in 2005. However, it made the decision to withdraw due intense competition. Seven years later in 2012 the service was restored. Three years later this was again dropped as the airline entered into a codeshare agreement with Jet Airways. Could attempt number three finally stick?
The service will commence in less than a week, on October 27th. This will be a daily service using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. According to Virgin Atlantic’s website, the flight will take roughly eight and a half hours. Juha Jarvinen, executive vice-president commercial at Virgin Atlantic, had the following to say in a May 2019 article by the Independent:
“Since Jet Airways has sadly suspended its operation, we now have an opportunity to provide alternative options for our customers and meet this demand….Not only are we providing an increased offering to the thriving Indian market, but together with our partners at Delta, we can offer unrivalled choice and more seamless connections to the USA via Heathrow.”
Jet Airways’ absence
Jet Airways effectively ceased all flights on April 11th. Technically, the carrier is not completely gone yet as there are still hopes for a buyer. However, it has had to give up its slots to other airlines while this process runs its course.
CAPA also reports that the capacity gap left by Jet Airways’ departure from the UK-India market will have been filled by early 2020. This is despite there being fewer airlines overall. In addition to the main routes mentioned above, British Airways has also added frequencies to its Mumbai-London Heathrow service. Furthermore, Air India has also resumed its Amritsar-Birmingham route.
With these full-service airlines filling the gap, it will be interesting to see if India’s low-cost carriers will also by trying to capture some of the long-haul market left by Jet Airways. It may take some time but GoAir is in the market for some long-range, widebody jets.
Which of these airlines do you think will lure the majority of Jet Airways travelers? Which one would you choose? Let us know by leaving a comment!