“Jet Airways has to its credits a number of firsts in the aviation circles and today is yet another first for Jet Airways,” said Vinay Dubey, CEO, Jet Airways, on the occasion of signing an extended cooperation agreement during the 25th year of Jet Airways and the 70th year of Air France in India. Today, in Mumbai, Air France-KLM and Jet Airways signed an “Enhanced Cooperation Agreement” for improving their operations between Europe and India.
The agreement will see Jet Airways, India' second largest airline by revenue, and Air France-KLM working together to develop their commercial and product offerings.
Customers will now be able to make the most of the services offered by these three partner networks in 44 cities in India and 106 destinations across Europe. This agreement will further complement the Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines’ transatlantic partnership between Europe and North America, offering guests access to over 200 destinations in North America, through a global cooperation while connecting the three continents together.
Dubey said that no other carrier in the history of Indian aviation had signed an extended cooperation agreement of this kind which offers “metal neutrality”—go by one airline and return by another—and seamless service in India, Europe and North America. “We are very, very proud of what we have accomplished today,” he said while reminding that the first metal neutral partnership was signed in the 1990s between KLM and North West. “We’re very proud to have engineers of those partnerships with us here today,” said Dubey. He emphasised the fact that there were some real benefits in store for the Indian, European and North American consumers. “I can assure you that these benefits are very very real, they create a level of comfort, connectivity and convenience. This is something that consumers in India will enjoy for decades,” he said.
After Jet Airways’ partnership with Etihad, to cater better connectivity for passengers flying to the Gulf countries, this is the “next stage in our journey, by offering (our) valued guests greater choice, connectivity and comfort across our combined global networks,” said Naresh Goyal, Chairman Jet Airways.
Besides speaking about improving engineering and maintenance, Goyal said that two things would happen with this partnership. It would “improve their cost structure and get value for their customers.” Goyal was all praises for the Indian government and thanked them for opening the policy which allowed Jet Airways to fly overseas in 2005.
Pieter Elbers, President and CEO, KLM, said “It is our ambition to be the partnership of choice if you want to travel out of India to Europe, US or South America—basically if you travel from India to the West.” He also said that he didn’t think that there was any other alliance or any other partnership in the world where you could fly from any city in India to any city in the US or any city in Europe with the very same group.
Besides the airlines’ enhanced cooperation agreement, Air France-KLM Cargo and Jet Airways Cargo have also signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will strengthen their cooperation in the cargo sector.