Jet Airways might make Amsterdam its gateway for flights to the US and Canada. At present, the airline flies daily from Mumbai and Delhi to Newark and Toronto via Brussels.
Jet is reported to have sought and secured slots at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and is in talks with Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines for commercial partnerships and code shares on the European and North American routes. Securing a partnership with the two carriers will be a key factor influencing Jet's decision to launch flights to Amsterdam.
There is no direct flight between Mumbai and Amsterdam after Delta Airlines pulled out from the route earlier this year. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is a part of the Air France-KLM group, formed after merger of the two companies in 2004. The two airlines operate separately and KLM flies daily between Amsterdam and Delhi.
“As an airline with international operations, we continue to evaluate viable opportunities globally. Jet has interline arrangements with over 100 global carriers, including KLM and Delta. We continuously engage with airline partners to explore opportunities to feed traffic to each other's networks,” said a Jet spokesperson.
Delta and Air France-KLM said they were looking at new opportunities on cooperation with airline partners.
Sources said Schiphol offered better connections and network opportunities than at Brussels. It is connected with 153 destinations within Europe. Jet has found it difficult to get onward passengers over Brussels because of the limited strength of its local airline partner, Brussels Airlines.
Even the Amsterdam airport wants to develop a second direct route between India and Netherlands. “We aim to have as many direct connections as possible with all economic, political and cultural centres in the world. We therefore regret to see Mumbai dropped from our network, as Mumbai is an important connection for The Netherlands. We do hope this important destination will be re-added to our network again soon,” a spokesperson for Schiphol Airport said.
Jet had plans to fly to New York and Chicago via Abu Dhabi but that is on hold. It is considering extending the leases of seven-wide body planes with Etihad Airways.
Sources say even as it explores Amsterdam option there is a possibility of Jet Airways connecting Newark via Abu Dhabi. At present, there is no direct flight between Abu Dhabi and Newark but there are multiple flight options between Newark and Amsterdam. Jet already has a code share agreement with KLM, with the Dutch airline placing its code on Jet's domestic routes. Etihad, which owns 24 per cent in Jet, also has code shares with Air France and KLM. Air France-KLM have a partnership with Delta on US routes.