Jetlite may start Mid-East service

Updated: Jan 26 2008, 05:47am hrs
JetLite (India) Ltd, the budget arm of the countrys largest private airline, aims to start flights to the Middle-East as early as March, increasing competition on routes dominated by state-controlled carriers. The airline plans to have daily flights from Indias west coast to as many as four cities, including Dubai, Doha and Kuwait City, chief executive officer Garry Kingshott said in an interview on Thursday.

The plan further dents the hold of Indian state carriers on Middle-East routes after parent Jet Airways (India) Ltd earlier this month became the first non-government Indian airline to fly to the Gulf. Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways are also increasing flights to India from the Middle-East, home to some 4 million Indian workers. There is a tremendous market for budget carriers, said Kapil Kaul, chief executive officer for India and the Middle-East at the centre for Asia-Pacific aviation. Price will play an important factor on the routes, mostly used by Indian labourers and for leisure traffic.