Jet Airways, India's largest private carrier by number of passengers carried, has ferried nearly 700,000 passengers to and from Brussels Airport, its European hub, by the end of September 2008, ever since it launched operations in August 2007. It is now inching towards the one million mark.
According to Wilfried Van Assche, CEO of Brussels Airport, ''The decision last year to connect several cities in India with the US via a hub in Brussels shows vision.''
''Already after one year passenger results show the irrefutable success of this choice,'' he told a press conference. '' The number of travelers between Belgium and India, be it direct or indirect, has doubled since the arrival of Jet Airways,'' he noted.
The airline operates three daily direct flights to the US and Canada via Brussels from Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. It is poised to add another direct service from Bangalore as part of its winter schedule later this month.
Apart from Brussels Airport, Jet also entered into a codeshare agreement with Belgium's national carrier Brussels Airlines. Thanks to this linkup it is now possible to fly to India from any major city in Europe via Brussels.
For Brussels Airlines, the arrangement has brought 6000 extra passengers every month and this is projected to increase by another 1,500 per month.
It is also estimated that Jet's selection of Brussels Airport as a hub has generated 1,000 direct and 2,000 2,000 indirect jobs in Belgium.