These flights would take the number of international routes offered by Jet Airways to 19. Announcing the launch, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal said the new flights would commence from April 14 when Mumbai will be linked with Hong Kong, utilising a brand new Airbus 330-200 aircraft. The other flights include Mumbai to Muscat on April 18, and Kochi to Doha on April 21.
He also announced daily direct flights to Abu Dhabi from Mumbai and Delhi from April 23.
Mr Goyal said though the domestic aviation would be the core business of the airlines, it is striving to emerge a leading international player. Already, it has garnered 33 per cent share of the traffic between London and India, he said adding that Jet Airways was looking at a second hub in Europe to cater predominantly to the inter-Europe travellers, preferably in Milan. Jet Airways was already having a hub in Brussels following the invitation from the Belgium Government. The traffic from Brussels for Jet Airways would be around one million he added.
Mr Goyal said that Jet was looking into more international destinations in Europe, South East Asia and West Asian nations. ''My vision is to see Jet become top among the five airliners in the world by 2010'' he said adding, ''Having changed the way people fly in India, we are now taking to the world our very own brand of service and style that bespeaks the spirit of new India.'' According to Company Chief Operating Officer Sudeep Raman the new flights would lead to utilising 95 per cent of the available infrastructure. The Company planned to enter new areas after receiving the new aircraft, he added.
Mr Goyal said the new flight to San Francisco via Shanghai would drastically cut down the traditional flying time between India and the US west coast, besides tapping into latent passenger demand, by connecting two prominent Asian financial and commercial hubs -- Mumbai and Shanghai.
Jet was the only second airline worldwide to connect Shanghai and San Francisco and it will cater to a large volume of business and leisure travel between the two cities, he added.
San Francisco, incidentally, is the home of the largest china town in the US. The daily flight would leave Mumbai at 1115 hrs and reach Shanghai at 1945 hrs. It would depart at 2145 hrs and reach San Francisco at 1815 hrs (local time). In the return transpacific schedule, the aircraft would leave San Francisco at 2045 hrs, and reach Shanghai at 0130 hrs. It would depart two hrs later and reach Mumbai at 0820 hrs.
San Francisco would be the fourth destination in North America for Jet, which was already landing at New York's JFK, Newark in the US and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Mr Goyal said the daily flights to Hong Kong from Mumbai will leave at 0100 hrs and reach Hong Kong International airport at 0915 hrs. In the return flight, the aircraft would depart Hong Kong at 1905 hrs and reach Mumbai at 2310 hrs. Jet is also planning an additional flight to Hong Kong connecting it with Delhi, he added.
The Delhi Abu Dhabi flight would take off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 2100 hrs and reach Abu Dhabhi at 2340 hrs.
In the return leg, it would depart at 0030 hrs and reach Delhi at 0510 hrs. The Mumbai-Abu Dhabi aircraft would leave Chhatrapati Shivaji International Terminal at 2145 hrs and reach its destination at 2330 hrs. In the return leg, the take off would be at 0020 hrs and landing at Mumbai at 0450 hrs.
The Mumbai-Muscat flight would depart at 2230 hrs and arrive Muscat's Seeb International airport at 2359 hrs. In the return leg, the aircraft would depart at 0050 hrs and land at Mumbai at 0505 hrs.
The Kochi-Doha flight would depart Kochi International airport at 2200 hrs and arrive at Doha at 0020 hrs. In the return leg, the departure would be at 0150 hrs and would arrive at Kochi at 0850 hrs.