By Tom Arnold
Daily direct flights from emirate to key Indian cities start on Saturday as airline expands.
The launch of Jet Airways’ Dubai service is an indication of the emirate’s emergence as a global commercial centre, the chairman and founder of India’s biggest private airline, Naresh Goyal has said.
Jet hopes to consolidate its presence in the lucrative Gulf aviation market when its daily direct flights start on Saturday from Dubai to Mumbai and Delhi in India, bringing the number of destinations the carrier serves in its regional network to six.
The airline says demand for a frequent service is coming from the estimated one and a half million Indian nationals based in the UAE for work, with a rising proportion of those expatriates within white collar sectors such as financial services.
There are also growing numbers of Indians visiting the UAE for business trips and leisure, Jet said at a press conference on Sunday ahead of the launch.
It has already set up daily services to Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat and Doha earlier this year.
It will deploy its dual-class Airbus 330-200 aircraft on the latest routes.
A route to Saudi Arabia will also be launched by Jet to Riyadh in October, with flights to Jedah set to follow from the winter.
The Dubai service has been made possible thanks to an agreement with Emirates Airline to use each others regional networks.
Goyal said: “Dubai is not only one of the most exciting cities in the world but also has been traditionally a very popular business, employment and leisure destination.
“The demand for a premiere service on the comparative India-Dubai sector remains high, and we are confident that with our superior in-flight product, world class service and unbeatable pan–Indian connectivity this will prove extremely popular with the travelling public on this sector.”
“The Gulf is a big market with four to five million Indians in this part of the world and trade is expanding.”
The Dubai-Mumbai service will operate between Dubai International Airport and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, with the Delhi service flying to Indira Gandhi International Airport.