The Telegraph
Thursday , July 24 , 2014
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Three-year Jet plan for turnaround

Naresh Goyal with James Hogan in New Delhi on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

New Delhi, July 23: Jet Airways is planning to sell aircraft and restructure debts as part of a plan to turn profitable within three years.

The country’s largest private airline is also considering a overhaul of its fleet and products.

Jet indicated that it might introduce new products, which is likely to include a low-cost carrier taking on AirAsia India and IndiGo.

The Naresh Goyal-led carrier suffered a massive loss amounting to Rs 4,130 crore in 2013-14. Just days after Air India announced its induction into Star Alliance, Goyal along with Etihad president and CEO James Hogan today said the airline had a road map to profitability without elaborating on its plans.

Goyal, Hogan and Jet’s CEO designate Cramer Ball jointly addressed the press conference for the first time after the Abu Dhabi-based carrier picked up a 24 per cent stake in the Indian airline.

For Jet, the most crucial task is reducing its debt. “We are looking at a lot of consolidation of our fleet. The carrier is talking to its bankers,” Goyal said.

“We plan to reduce losses in 2015, consolidate in 2016 and turn profitable in 2017. We are already on track as our international business has turned profitable. We now have to take our business forward,” Ball said.

Jet plans to increase its international operations to 63 per cent of flights by 2015 from 45 per cent.

The airline is suffering massive operational losses as its domestic arm, which accounts for 55 per cent of the business, has not been able to cope with low-cost carriers such as IndiGo. Besides, fare wars took a toll on the airline’s health.

Both Hogan and Goyal focused on the Jet-Etihad partnership, saying it will mark the Indian carrier’s progressive expansion in North and South America, Europe and Africa. It will also reduce operational costs because of the combination of the fleet and routes of the two airlines.