October 14, 2008 12:54:12 am
Having tried rationalising routes, cutting costs and every other measure that airlines employ in times of depression, two of India’s largest private airlines, Naresh Goyal’s Jet Airways and Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines, met at the latter’s Mumbai headquarters amidst strong rumours of a workable alliance in the making to help both carriers survive the heat of an ever-falling aviation market.
While spokespersons of both companies did not comment on the nature of the meeting between the two promoters, sources revealed to The Indian Express that talks revolved around them entering into a code-share agreement on domestic and international routes. Also, according to sources, Jet and Kingfisher-Deccan combine were actively looking at cutting operational costs by sharing ground handling, sales and other such areas.
“Under the market conditions where the number of passengers has gone down and fares have shot up with increasing operational costs, it is not a question of whether these airlines will enter into a code-share agreement or not, but more important is that the two come to an understanding that their flights do not start at the same time,” said a senior aviation analyst. Kingfisher Airlines shares on Monday rose by 33 per cent to close at Rs 51.35 on the BSE while Jet Airways shares posted a 11.12 per cent rise to close at Rs 291.80.
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