|Image Credit: Devesh Agarwal|
India’s largest full service carrier, Jet Airways, is adding a second daily flight between its largest hub at Mumbai, and Singapore. The second daily flight, effective 1st November 2013, will be served using 154 seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft in a 2-class configuration (16 J / 138 Y).
The proposed new flights, 9W 10/9 will be scheduled very tightly with the existing daily flights on-board the Airbus A330-200; 9W 12/11. Jet Airways Flight 12 currently departs Mumbai at 23:30, arriving at Singapore at 07:25 the next day. The return, Jet Airways Flight 11 departs Singapore at 19:05 after nearly 12 hours on the ground, returning to Mumbai at 22:00. The outbound, Jet Airways Flight 10, will be offset as a morning departure, leaving Mumbai at 09:50 and arriving to Singapore at 18:00. However, the return Jet Airways Flight 9 is currently scheduled to depart Singapore at 20:05 (just one hour after the existing flight), and return to Mumbai at 23:01.
These flight timings make little sense squished so close together on the return to Mumbai. While it is a good idea for Jet Airways to grow its international operations to Asia given the better performance of its international division as a whole. However, placing the return flight so closely with the existing flight is a missed opportunity for Jet. Especially with an integrated terminal coming to Mumbai by the end of 2014, Jet should be looking to maximize connectivity out of Mumbai, especially on international to domestic and vice-versa. A better schedule for the flight would have been a morning departure from Singapore at around 5:50 am, which would have arrived back at Mumbai at 8:50 am, in time for connections with morning departures to dozens of domestic destinations, while still leaving enough time for a turnaround to depart at 9:50 am. Jet already offers double daily flights to Singapore from Chennai and Delhi, and the second dailies to both of those destinations use a similar schedule to the one we propose here.
However, the addition of a second daily Mumbai-Singapore is a good move for Jet, and it points to future international growth opportunities for Jet. Even as the westbound international operations will largely be culled in favor of routing passengers through Abu Dhabi via the Jetihad partnership, there remain opportunities for Jet to grow its eastbound international operations. Air travel demand between India and East/Southeast Asia is growing rapidly, and Jet could offer more flights to the region moving forward, especially with the purchase of 50 737 MAX aircraft offering increased range on tap.