Jet Airways may shift Asia-Pacific hub from Shanghai to Hong Kong

Jet AirwaysNew Delhi: With the initial euphoria of a breakthrough in India-China relations dying down, Jet Airways is now mulling the prospects of launching its Mumbai-San Francisco service via Hong Kong instead of Shanghai.

Earlier, in January, a visit by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh had given hopes to Jet Airways that its application for a hub at Shanghai for its India-US route would receive immediate clearance from the Chinese Government, similar to the clearance provided to a Chinese cargo carrier, the Great Wall Airlines, by the Indian Government.

Under India and China's bilateral air services agreement, each country's carriers are permitted to operate 42 services per week to/from each country, a figure that has been disputed by China.

China currently operates 18 weekly services, while India only operates four, through Air India's four times weekly Mumbai-Delhi-Bangkok-Shanghai service.

Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines currently operate services to Delhi and Mumbai.

Jet Airways had originally considered establishing Shanghai as its hub for US operations in the Asia Pacific region, along the lines of its hub at Brussels, established for its European operations.

Jet Airways had made the application under fifth freedom provisions in the China-India bilateral air services agreement.