JetLite makes flight plans for the Gulf

New Delhi: The acquired Sahara Airlines, now rebranded JetLite, the low cost arm of Jet Airways, has made an application to the government to seek permission to fly to Gulf states, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Bahrain and Kuwait, according to the company''s CEO Garry Kingshott.

According to Kingshott, JetLite is planning low-cost flights from India to the Gulf region by the first quarter of next year, subject to requisite government approvals. It plans to use its fleet of Boeing 737s to fly to the Gulf.

Earlier in the month, the government of India announced private sector airlines would be allowed to operate to the Gulf starting January next year, bringing to an end the monopoly of state-owned airlines. It has permitted Jet Airways to operate 70 flights a week to the Gulf, with a majority of flights being from Kerala, as a significant chunk of the Indian diasporas in the Gulf has its roots there.

JetLite is also planning to make its presence felt in the domestic sector, though 27 new flights. Post the acquisition lay-offs, JetLite now has a headcount of 2,100 people, which corresponds to 100 staff for each aircraft in its fleet. Kingshott said that hiring plans were linked to the airlines growth.