India’s JetAirways hits turbulence

Nobody is entirely sure what’s going on at JetAirways, but a decision to not reveal its trading figures for the last quarter/half year went down like a Soviet era airliner, sending shareholders into mild panic yesterday.

There seems to be some dissonance in the airlines management which has suffered a litany of minor and embarrassing issues that have become public.

Added to that it’s uncertain future relations with shareholder Etihad, and the loss of an expensive and publicly embarrassing court case with AirIndia over slot control at Heathrow.

Air India had been holding back a number of slots unable to utilise them because of a lack of aircraft and passengers. It was getting close to the point where the slots would be lost so JetAirways applied for their use.

AirIndia objected and the case ended up in court – AirIndia won the right to keep the slots. However the whole case seemed utterly pointless in the end – JetAirways had acquired slots from KLM – but nobody told their legal team to drop the case.

This in turn brought up allegations that the whole thing had been a plot to undermine AirIndia’s position at Heathrow, it’s primary international route, in favour of JetAirways.

The Delhi/Mumbai routes into London are exceptionally busy for both airlines, with up to 9 flights a day from the Indian airlines along with those from British Airways (serving both) and Virgin Atlantic serving Delhi (with Mumbai services by JetAirways from Delhi on a code share).