Jet Airways will set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility within the next 18 months and a flight catering subsidiary within the current year as part of its diversification plans in order to generate larger revenues and offset losses from its core aviation business. These will also be a separate subsidiary for the hotel business which will start with a hotel in Brussels near the airline’s European hub.
At present, the food on the carrier’s domestic flights is provided by Oberoi's flight catering service. Jet Airways also signed a three year contract with Aviapartner Catering starting from August 2007 to provide food for international flights. “A group has been constituted within the company to take the project forward and we expect to have the facility running by early 2010. Setting up a flight catering facility makes sense as there is huge demand and there is also good potential in the MRO business,” Sudheer Raghavan, executive vice-president, Jet Airways said.
The company has short-listed five cities - Delhi, Nagpur, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai for setting up the MRO facility which is expected to start by mid-2009 at an estimated cost of over Rs 100 crore. At the moment, the company has not decided on who to partner for the project but sources said they would prefer an India-based company. Boeing has already promised to invest around $100 million in an MRO in Nagpur.
Jet Airways is one of Boeing's premier clients in India with 60 aircraft of the Boeing family out of its total fleet size of 76 aircraft.