Singapore, Jun 8: Aiming to attract passengers of South and East Asian origin, Jet Airways has applied to the government for traffic rights to rapidly expand into continental Europe to fly people to Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
"We are considering operating to Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, some places in Germany and other parts of continental Europe. Shanghai and Beijing are also being looked at. We have applied to the Civil Aviation Ministry for traffic rights (to these destinations). We are hopeful of getting approvals soon", Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal said here.
"I hope those clearances come so that we as an Indian carrier can play a further important role for the convenience of customers and (in getting) India's market share (of international traffic) what we deserve," he told Indian journalists on the sidelines of the annual summit of the International Air Transport Association here.
Maintaining that the airline wanted to tap the huge market of South Asians, living in Europe, who currently fly to their homes by Gulf or European carriers, he said his airline is "already in the second place" to fly out such passengers to Dhaka, Colombo, Kathmandu or even Bangkok.
"We are watching how the Gulf carriers are moving traffic from Europe to South and East Asia. ... We are preparing how we can take on this competition", he said noting that there was big traffic between Europe and Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
The plan is to bring in South and East Asian traffic from Europe and fly them to their destinations with a short stopover at the hub of Delhi.
Asked about raising funds to meet Jet's route and fleet expansion, Goyal said "we are looking at all sorts of options, incuding QIP (Qualified Institutional Placement). We are even considering diluting some of our equity... We may do some dilution when the right time comes".
On his plans to acquire more aircraft, the Jet chief said "we are already ordering aircraft, we are in the process of finalising certain leases. We are ordering more Boeing 737s and we are ordering Airbus A330s. These will be delivered in the next 2-3 years".
The company had about two months ago approved plans to acquire two additional Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which would be delivered between February and April 2013. The premier private carrier was also planning to induct four A330-family aircraft over the next two years.
In addition, Jet Airways has entered into a purchase agreement with Boeing to acquire 30 737-800s to be delivered by 2015 and ten Boeing 787-8s to be delivered by 2014.
Currently, it flies to 71 destinations in India and abroad with a fleet of 97 aircraft, including ten 777-300ERs, 12 A330-200s, 55 Boeing 737-700/800/900s and 20 ATR 72-500 turboprops.
Goyal said the international air traffic growth was expected to be about 12-15 per cent annually while domestic market should expand 11-12 per cent over the next few years. PTI