Jet Airways, top choice among international travellers for flights to India, announced on Monday it is merging its two low-cost carriers – JetKonnect and JetLite – into a single brand which will be branded as JetKonnect, effective March 25.

Jet Airways, leading option for travellers booking flights to India, has decided to consolidate its low-cost businesses as part of a strategic rebranding and restructuring exercise that was announced last July.

On Monday, the airline announced that, effective from March 25, its low-cost unit JetLite would cease to function as it will be merged with the Jet Airways’ other no-frills brand JetKonnect.

“Effective March 25, JetLite will cease to operate separately, but will come under the JetKonnect brand, enabling guests to avail themselves of a single superior in-flight product in the full service (Jet Airways) and low-fare categories,” Jet Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer Sudheer Raghavan said in a statement published in different reports.

Formed in 2007, JetLite operated with a fleet of 19 Boeing 737s, and offered connections to more than 30 domestic destinations. The airline also offered cheap flights to India‘s neighbouring country, Nepal.

Offering raison d’ĂȘtre behind the merger, Mr Raghavan said: “The launch of JetKonnect is the culmination of a well- coordinated effort and arises from the fact that since its inception in May 2009, JetKonnect has proved to be a successful model. We thought it best to consolidate our product in the low-fare segment with a single brand JetKonnect, for enhanced brand recall.”

The airline is also looking at chances to efficiently position and cross-utilise common resources of Jet and JetLite wherever it is possible and this rebranding will aid further in synergising our combined operations, he added.

Jet Airways gave away the merger plans last July when the airline’s Vice-President (Commercial Strategy and Investor Relations), K. G. Vishwanath had said: “The management is clear that there will be only one brand in the low-fare arena and that is something, which will emerge very clearly in the next one or two months.”

The airline also announced that though low-cost, JetKonnect will provide Premiere services on certain routes where travel buffs can enjoy services akin to that experienced by Premiere guests on Jet Airways. The concept will be expanded further, said the airline.

Jet Airways and JetLite would carry on as distinct business units functioning under their own airline operating permits, Mr. Sudheer Raghavan stated, adding that “to achieve brand consistency, JetKonnect will be the dedicated low-fare service with a mixed fleet of Boeings and ATRs to operate on the metro, tier II and III routes.”

The airline group also confirmed that some JetKonnect flights will operate under the S2 code, whereas others will have the 9W code. 9W and S2 will persist with their existing code share agreement allowing passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity between India and rest of the world.

Apart from Jet Airways’ international services, both JetLite and JetKonnect are popular options among international travellers who fly into the country and look for cheap flight for India’s domestic connections.

The Jet group currently runs more than 600 flights a day and maintains a fleet of 120 aircraft. Jet Airways connects 24 international travel destinations with flights to India and offers approximately 50 local connections. JetKonnect connects key domestic routes – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

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