India's Jet set to launch new Kuwait service

Airline part-owned by Etihad to start daily flights from Kochi to Kuwait via Abu Dhabi

Jet Airways, the Indian carrier part-owned by Abu Dhabi's Etihad, will introduce daily services from Kochi to Kuwait via Abu Dhabi, effective from Thursday.

Jet Airways presently operates double daily flights between Mumbai and Kuwait.

The airline will deploy a Boeing 737-800 aircraft on this route and the introduction of the new daily service will further strengthen Jet Airways' presence in the Gulf, the carrier said in a statement.

The new service will add to existing daily Gulf operations to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Muscat and Sharjah, as well as Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam, from several cities in India.

Jet Airways presently operates over 50 flights between India and the Gulf.

Sudheer Raghavan, chief commercial officer, Jet Airways, said the new launch was "an indication of the strong demand on this sector".

Last month, Jet Airways said it will sell a minority stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways for roughly $379m after months of negotiations.

The investment is the first by an overseas operator in an existing Indian carrier since the country relaxed ownership rules in September to allow foreign carriers to buy up to 49 percent in local airlines, which face stiff competition and high operating costs.

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