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Jet Airways to launch Heathrow-Mumbai flight from May 23



May 8, 2005: Jet Airways India Ltd, the largest privately owned airline in India, is planning to launch a daily non-stop service from London's Heathrow Airport to Mumbai, starting from May 23, 2005.

The Jet Airways flights will operate from Heathrow Terminal no three, departing at 21:25 hours and arriving at 10.50 hours the following morning in Mumbai. The carrier intends to use A340-300 aircraft on this route, with 38 business class seats (flat beds) and 231 economy (32 inch pitch) seats.

According to Jet Airways general manager for Britain and Ireland Dan Brewin, "This is an extremely exciting time for the airline. Launching our first international service from India to Britain at the end of May marks a huge step in our global expansion plans. The UK market in particular is a key one for us and we intend to increase capacity to Heathrow later this year."

The return tickets are priced at 399 pounds, he said.

Jet Airways has selected Brussels as its European stopover airport on the Mumbai-New York (Newark) route. In the recent past, Jet Airways also requested slots at Amsterdam airport and at Paris CDG.

Jet Airways will fly an Airbus A340-300, dry-leased from South African Airways, to operate on the Mumbai-Newark route. The operations will start from June 23, 2005, with six flights per week, even as the airline has plans to increase the frequency to one flight per day by later this year.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways along with Indian Airlines (IA) and Air Sahara have launched a domestic Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) pilot programme with 51 major travel agents across India, effective from May one.

These travel agents would issue BSP documents for domestic travel, while a Domestic Working Group (DWG) has been formed under the chairmanship of IA to oversee the procedure. BSP is an international norm for sale and ticketing of airfares.

The procedural issues pertaining to domestic BSP have been finalised by the DWG in consultation with BSP India, a division of IATA, a Jet Airways spokesman said.

BSP India has also briefed and guided the participating travel agents, he said, adding, Jet Airways is planning to extend the domestic BSP programme with other travel agents across the network in a phased manner.

Jet Airways, which started operations in 1993, has established itself as the leading domestic full-service carrier in India with a 46 per cent market share. The airline operates one of the youngest fleets in the world with an average age of 4.8 years. The carrier ferried over eight million passengers in 2004.



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