Back to basics
Jet Airways is going back to its roots after five years of flirting with a no-frills brand.
The airline has promised a full service two-class cabin offering across its entire fleet by the year-end-a move triggered by weak performance and cold customer response to its no-frills brand Konnect.
Jet Airways launched Konnect in May 2009 "to meet the needs of the low fare segment and complement its full service product." It began by offering no-frills service on three planes and a handful of routes.
In 2012, even the subsidiary JetLite's service was rebranded as Konnect. Today it covers about 60 per cent of Jet Airways' domestic flights and all of JetLite-operated flights.
However, the Konnect brand has failed to earn both popularity and profit.
While Jet Airways lost domestic market share as it cut capacity, data provided by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation show that the airline has been carrying fewer passengers per flight than its rivals.
In 2013, Jet Airways reported a load factor of 71.5 percent. Load factor is an indicator of occupancy and Jet's loads were lower than GoAir, IndiGo, SpiceJet and only marginally higher than Air India.
Even in the first seven months of 2014, Jet Airways' load factors are amongst the lowest in the industry and the achieved loads are far lower than what's required to break even on domestic routes.
Text: Aneesh Phadnis, Business Standard
Image courtesy: Reuters