MRTPC orders probe into Jet-Kingfisher alliance

Press Trust of India reports that fair trade practices body Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC), today, ordered a probe into the operational alliance formed between two leading private carriers, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines.

According to highly placed sources, taking a suo moto cognisance based on media reports, the MRTPC ordered its investigative arm, Director General of Investigation and Registration (DGIR) to conduct a preliminary investigation.

In an order the MRTPC asked the DGIR to submit its report within 60 days effective today.

The order comes within days of Jet and Kingfisher announcing formation of an alliance for co-operation in several areas, including joint fuel management, common ground handling and cross-selling of flight inventories.

The alliance has bough together the two airlines which account for nearly 60 per cent of market share. It envisaged sharing of their network and resources to meet the challenge of aviation downturn.

While Jet had earlier acquired ailing Air Sahara, Kingfisher had taken over the crisis-ridden Deccan to emerge stronger till the rising costs and global meltdown hit them hard with each of the entity losing about Rs 10 crore a day.

Announcing the alliance, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal and Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya had insisted the alliance had no equity involvement.

As per the alliance, the two airlines were also looking for code-sharing on both domestic and international flights, subject to DGCA approval, cross-utilisation of crew on similar aircraft types and reciprocity in Jet Privilege and King Club frequent flier programmes.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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