Mumbai: Jet Airways plans to scrap its service to San Francisco via Shanghai, starting 13 January, barely seven months after its launch.
The country's largest private airline will instead service passengers flying to San Francisco via its London gateway, in association with its partner carriers. Jet Airways chief commercial officer Sudheer Raghavan billed the suspension as a temporary move, saying that Jet continuously monitors all routes but ''has no plans to discontinue any other flights for the moment."
Jet Airways has an arrangement with US carrier United Airlines to connect Mumbai to several destinations in the US via London, and will leverage this relationship to service San Francisco-bound passengers.
Jet's daily service to San Francisco via Shanghai has been launched on 14 June. Subsequently, the frequency was brought down to five times a week to cut losses in August.
Jet Airways' low cost airline JetLite, the former Air Sahara, has also put off plans to fly to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, though it is now eligible to start international operations under Indian aviation norms. Industry sources also indicate that other airlines, such as Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher too could delay plans to start their international service, such as Kingfisher's proposed Mumbai -London and Mumbai-Hong Kong services, mainly on account of the global crisis.
Jet started international flights in March 2004, and flies to 64 destinations in India and overseas, including New York, Toronto, Brussels, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Bangkok and Kathmandu.
Kingfisher had originally proposed to start the Mumbai-London flight by the end of October 2008. The airline started its international operations in September 2008.