With a traditional lamp lighting ceremony, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit symbolically launched Jet Airways’ first direct non-stop flight to Paris from Chennai International Airport. The flight (9W 128) will take off from Chennai airport at 1.45 a.m. (Sunday) with the first set of guests. The occupancy rate in this first flight is more than 50%, according to sources.
“The introduction of the direct flight from Chennai to Paris will not only boost corporate and leisure travel but will also contribute to significant growth in cross-border trade and commerce,” said Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways.
The new flight will augment cargo capacity up to 17 tonnes. This route will allow the airline to offer additional capacity between Chennai and Paris, for carriage of commodities such as perishables, pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, garments and fabrics, foodstuffs as well as specialised medical equipment.
“The new flight will augment Jet Airways’ cargo capacity on the route by up to 17 tonnes, strengthening its presence in both India and the European markets,” V. Raja, Head, Domestic Sales, Jet Airways, told The Hindu .
According to Jet Airways, Chennai, is one of the key cities in south India and though Bengaluru had overtaken Chennai he was sure over the coming years, things would change and there would be more and more international departures from Chennai.
Tamil Nadu market
Before launching this new route, Jet’s network planning group evaluated the market.
Mr. Raja said that route economics were critical before route launches. According to him, the key factor for launching this service was that Paris was the second biggest market amongst the European countries from India and there was a historical cultural connect between the state and France.
For Jet Airways, Tamil Nadu was a crucial market and it was one of the first carriers having services from four points in the state — Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchi. “Tamil Nadu is an important territory for us. We saw a CAGR of 10% and with more and more connectivities built around the market, we expect this to get better in the coming months,” Mr. Raja said.
He added: “Each of these cities have equal amount of population and affluence around them. Also, these destinations are gateways to various hill stations, so the traffic is not just local and India bound but international too. Being a network carrier, this frequency advantage we enjoy here between Chennai and each of these markets (Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchi), by definition, makes us the preferred choice.”
a new course
The flight will augment cargo capacity by up to 17 tonnes
Jet Airways has services from four cities in Tamil Nadu
Jet sees huge potential for international flights from Chennai