Kuwait’s leading low-cost airline Jazeera Airways, which connected to India by launching daily flights to Hyderabad from Friday, will add Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kochi to its network from January next year.
Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran told reporters here that it will be a daily flight to Mumbai while services to Kochi will be four days a week and to Ahmedabad thrice a week.
He said the airline plans to add destinations in India, mainly targeting nearly one million Indians living in Kuwait.
“This would be the first phase of our journey to India. We would like to fly to more destinations and add a lot more frequencies,” he said adding that their plans were restrained by air services agreement between India and Kuwait which currently provides for only 12,000 seats per week in each direction.
He believes there is potential for tripling this number and urged both the governments to take necessary steps to add the capacity.
The non-stop flight from Kuwait with 165 passengers landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here at 01.35am and the return flight left here at 02.20am.
Jazeera expects 50 per cent of the their business from India operations to come from people going to Kuwait for employment and Indian expatriates coming back to see their families.
Another key segment will be passengers going for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, and those visiting holy and historic places in Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt. There will also be a small number of Kuwaiti nationals coming for medical treatment to India.
He said the flight brought more choice to Indian travellers, connecting them to Riyadh, Jeddah, Bahrain, Dubai and other destinations.
With a fleet of eight Airbus A320, Jazeera is flying to over 20 destinations in Middle East and Europe. Rohit said they would get the ninth aircraft by February. It plans to add two aircraft every year to take the fleet to 15 by end of 2020.
The CEO said while they were also looking at opportunities for long-haul flights, their focus would be on expanding the regional connectivity.