Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jet to start Chennai service, double Mumbai flights

India's Jet Airways will double the number of flights from Dubai this month by adding Chennai to its network and increasing its frequency on the Mumbai route despite the regional travel business experiencing a general downturn.

At present the airline flies daily from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Delhi and Mumbai.

Jet will launch daily direct services to Chennai from Dubai starting on April 23. On the same day, its frequency on the Dubai-Mumbai flights will increase to twice daily.

"It shows the confidence that we have in this market," said Shakir Kantawala, regional manager for sales and marketing.

The airline began its flights from Dubai to both Mumbai and Delhi last August. It recently began flying daily between Kuwait and Mumbai.

However, the airline has not remained immune to falling demand for air travel.

Jet recently suspended its services from Muscat and Doha to Kozhikode in Kerala. Indian carrier Kingfisher had plans to launch a Dubai flights in March but has deferred its plans owing to the economic downturn.

Jet Airways officials had said last year they were keen to connect the Indian destinations of Kochi, Goa, Mangalore and Hyderabad with Dubai.

The Chennai flights will use the new generation Boeing 737-800 single-aisle aircraft.

The flight from Dubai International Airport will leave at 4.30pm, arriving in Chennai at 10.15pm local time, while the flight from Chennai depart at 12.45pm and arrive in Dubai at 3.30pm.