Jet Airways to consider 2nd round of India’s RCS scheme

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5763Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int’l) will consider participating in the Indian government’s second round of its regional connectivity scheme – known locally as UDAN – which is currently underway. The Hindu reports that during its recent investor conference call, Jet Airways said it will evaluate the economic side before making a decision.

The UDAN scheme seeks to connect Tier II and III cities in India to improve regional connectivity. After a successful first round earlier this year – which Jet Airways did not participate in – the government launched the second round on August 24. This new round features some modifications in order to ease restrictions and open up more routes.

Also in its investor call, Jet Airways confirmed it will lease in eight B737 aircraft by year’s end. These are in addition to its firm order for seventy-five B737 MAX 8 aircraft which are due for delivery beginning next year.

As previously reported, Jet Airways is shifting its focus to jet operations amid plans to replace its eighteen ATR72 turboprops with B737s. The B737s are seen as better suited to Jet Airways’ domestic market business model given their increased capacity and speed as well as the greater availability of locally-based flight crews.

On the domestic network side, Jet Airways intends to increase its frequencies on Mumbai Int’l – Delhi Int’l, Pune – Chennai, and Pune – Mumbai routes, and a new connection Delhi – Raipur. Internationally, more flights will be added from Mumbai to Riyadh and Dhaka, and Riyadh – Delhi. A new flight will be introduced on the Chennai – Dhaka route.

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