Even as Jet Airways CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer anticipates another loss during the current fiscal, he is still optimistic about his airline surpassing the national carrier Air India in terms of revenues. That would make Jet the number one airline in India.
All Indian carriers are combating overcapacity, slashing of fares, and high operating costs on account of fuel prices. The industry's collective losses are an estimated $1 billion for the last fiscal, and carriers have rolled back around 15 per cent of their capacity this year.
Talking to media earlier in the week at the Austrian Aviation Associations international symposium, Prock-Schauer said that he expects only three big carriers - Jet, Air India and Kingfisher - and maybe two low cost carriers (LCCs) to survive. He also said that though the airline will not be profitable this year, it will attain a turnover of $4 billion, making it India's number one airline.
Second hub on the anvil
Prock-Schauer said that besides its European hub in Brussels, Jet is mulling a second hub in Germany, northern Italy or Austria, on the back of accepting the second lot of deliveries of wide – body aircraft which will include five 777-300ERs and five A330-200s.
This lot is expected to arrive sometime between 2009 and 2011, and will be deployed largely on the international sector, which will mean an expanded presence in Europe for the airline, and necessitate a second hub there.
Prock-Schauer also told the news agency that with Indian airports' infrastructure improving, there is a definite possibility that by 2010 Jet will be able to offer its Indian hubs as international transfer points Europe and the Far East.
Two A330s will become part of the Jet fleet this year for flights between India and Saudi Arabia.
Over the coming few years, Jet will expand its JetLite fleet with 10 more 737NGs, and 20 737NGs for its mainline.