Kingfisher-Jet Airways seal mega alliance (Third Lead)

October 14th, 2008 - 1:18 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Oct 13 (IANS) In the biggest consolidation in the country’s airspace, leading private carriers Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways late Monday night announced an alliance that is aimed at cutting costs and synergising their operations.Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya and his Jet Airways counterpart Naresh Goyal announced the alliance after a marathon meeting here.

The alliance is meant to significantly rationalise and reduce costs and offer a wider choice of air travel options, Mallya and Goyal told reporters.

The alliance will include code-sharing on both domestic and international flights, joint fuel management to reduce expenses, common ground handling, joint utilisation of crew and sharing of similar frequent flier programmes.

Mallya said: “Both Jet and Kingfisher fully realise the economic realities and the benefits of having an alliance.”

Goyal said: “In this environment, Jet Airways and Kingfisher alliance represents a completely new industrial model for aviation in India. There will be huge cost saving and revenue enhancement opportunities.”

“Both carriers, while maintaining their separate legal and brand entities, will examine co-branding opportunities and they have formed a core committee of senior management personnel from both companies who will drive the various identified initiatives,” a joint press statement issued on the occasion said.

Further details of the alliance would be announced during the India Aviation 2008 international air show that begins at Hyderabad on Wednesday, Mallya said.

Earlier Monday, shares of the two airlines went up on speculation of a possible merger to trigger yet another consolidation bid in the country’s aviation space.

The Kingfisher scrip was up a whopping 32.35 percent at Rs.51.35, while that of Jet moved up by 11.12 percent at Rs.291.80, as per data with the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Jet Airways had recently scrapped its Mumbai-San Francisco flight, just seven months after its launch, while Kingfisher has postponed the launch of services on several international routes even after obtaining permission to fly.

Most Indian carriers including Jet Airways and Kingfisher have also been trying to raise money the past few months, but without much success.

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