1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Jet Airways aims to raise its profile in the business sector and hopes to take advantage of the credit crunch as companies switch corporate deals earlier than expected.
Speaking to the media in London, the carrier”s new general manager for UK and Ireland Duncan Gambrill ” whose background is purely corporate travel, both with airlines and TMCs ” said that while Jet”s brand in the leisure agency community is strong, it is far weaker for international business travel.
”If you look at the top four TMCs for the UK to India ” probably there”s around ”90m of business out of them, of which we”re getting around ”9-”10m,” he said. ”Many companies are locked in global deals where they have to commit to 60%-70% share [of travel] through [specific] airlines, but that still leaves us a big chunk of business to get despite this.”
He expects some reduction in air travel because of the credit crunch ” ”UK-US will probably see a softening” ” but there could be a silver lining for Jet.
”We may well see an increase in business because a lot of companies are looking to make immediate savings and will therefore review corporate deals mid-term through their strategy.
”For a lot of the big corporates, Mumbai is clearly now in the top ten international destinations, so actually some of the global deals where [this] route is not necessarily included maybe need to be revisited to add true value, and we can help there, even if it”s just picking up 20%-30% share.”
Jet launched its ”Premiere” business cabin last year ” when it refreshed its whole brand and livery ” and offers 30 fully lie-flat seats in a herring bone configuration.
”The seats are slightly wider than others out there, and our retention rate is around 95% - once people try it, they stick with it,” said Gambrill.
The airline recently changed provider for its limo service - it only uses BMW and Mercedes vehicles ” and the new company is only ten minutes from Heathrow, so a car can be arranged quickly if one wasn”t initially ordered.
”We”re trying reduce the time at the airport for customers by getting their boarding card to them and taking their luggage. Cars are free for First class, and if it”s requested for Premiere ” it”s subject to availability though, we don”t try and heavily advertise it, we try and surprise people. It”s a 50 mile radius limit from Heathrow, but we”ll probably start looking at other things such as providing Heathrow Express tickets ” or for corporates from Canary Wharf and the City it”s going to be quicker just to get a cab up to Paddington, so that”s something we”ll probably look at.”
Jet sets itself lofty targets ” to be a top-five international airline by 2012 ” and has launched 12 routes in the last nine months including Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. It starts Mumbai-San Francisco via Shanghai on 14 June.
”It”s clear that wealth creation is not necessarily now just coming from the US or the UK,” says Gambrill. ”There”s a saying in some of the banks ” you”re either in Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai or ”goodbye”! We are following the money ” they”re either going in for the energy trading, or chasing sovereign funds in the Middle East and some of the Chinese funds. We now have the links from India and China ” two big powerhouses of financial growth.”