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Jet Airways withdraws from Milan

Just a little over two years, after commencing its Delhi Milan Malpensa service, India’s Jet Airways has announced “temporary suspension” of flights from the Italian market, as per Italian tourism trade website TTG Italia, citing the Eurozone financial crisis.

The carrier had reduced the frequency on this route from a daily to five a week just about a month ago.

Despite increasing its wide body fleet with the soon expected induction of the Airbus A330-300, Jet Airways has been aggressively cutting back or reducing frequency of destinations it says are not performing. In the past few months, Jet Airways has withdrawn from high profile destinations like Johannesburg, South Africa and New York JFK. Just five days ago, it stopped service from Chennai to its scissors hub, Brussels, which connects the North American market.

Reducing its network, especially the long distance destinations, does not bode well for Jet Airways. Earlier this year, in an exclusive interview with Bangalore Aviation, Boeing India President, Dr. Dinesh Keskar, identified the lack of a broad network as a significant reason why Jet Airways is not able to utilise the Boeing 777-300ER effectively, compared to most global carriers, and is forced to lease out most of its fleet, of this aircraft type, to airlines like Turkish, Gulf and Thai Airways.

The fate of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Jet and Alitalia remains unknown, and Jet Airways has not responded to our queries, till publication of this story.

UPDATE

Jet Airways sent us this statement after we published the story.

In view of the ongoing global economic slowdown and in particular the current economic crisis in the Eurozone countries, Jet Airways today announced that it has decided to temporarily withdraw its Airbus A 330 daily direct service between New Delhi and Milan, effective February 1, 2013.

As part of the on-going network rationalization program of the airline, one of the fiscal controlling measures adopted by the Management has been the withdrawal of loss making routes and redeployment of those assets and capacities on other routes and destinations, where profitability will be better.

In order to minimize any inconvenience caused to its guests, Jet Airways will work closely with it’s travel agents and tour operators partners, to ensure affected guests are re booked on alternate Jet Airways flights and/or Interline partners flights for their travel from February 1,2013.

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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