|Founded||1991 (as Sahara Airlines)|
|Frequent-flyer program||Jet Privilege|
|Alliance||Etihad Equality Alliance|
|Company slogan||Emotionally Yours|
|Parent company||Tailwinds Limited|
Naresh Goyal (Owner)
Jet Lite (India) Limited operating as JetKonnect, is an airine based in Mumbai, India. owned by Jet Airways. It was originally their low-cost subsidiary called Jetlite, but started using the name JetKonnect after merging with Jet Airways' other inhouse low cost brand in 2012.
JetKonnect ended its own operations in December 2014 as part of Jet Airways' plans to reposition itself as a uniform full-service operator. It is currently undergoing a process of integration with Jet Airways and flies for them as code share i.e. Jet Airways flights operated by JetKonnect, till the two are merged completely. All ground and onboard services are as on Jet Airways, and aircraft are being repainted in its livery.
The airline was established on 20 September 1991 and began operations on 3 December 1993 with two Boeing 737-200 aircraft as Sahara Airlines, as part of the major Sahara India Pariwar business conglomerate. Initially services were primarily concentrated in the northern sectors of India, keeping Delhi as its base, and then operations were extended to cover all the country. Sahara Airlines was rebranded as Air Sahara on 2 October 2000, although Sahara Airlines remains the carrier's registered name. On 22 March 2004 it became an international carrier with the start of flights from Chennai to Colombo, later expanding to London, Singapore, Maldives and Kathmandu. It had also planned to become the first private Indian carrier to serve China with flights to Guangzhou from winter 2006, however this did not materialize. The uncertainty over the airline's fate caused its share of the domestic Indian air transport market go down from approximately 11% in January 2006 to a reported 8.5% in April 2007.
Buyout by Jet Airways
Jet Airways announced its first takeover attempt on 19 January 2006, offering US$500 million (₹20 billion) in cash for the airline. Market reaction to the deal was mixed, with many analysts suggesting that Jet Airways was paying too much for Air Sahara. The Indian Civil Aviation Ministry gave approval in principle, but the deal was eventually called off over disagreements over price and the appointment of Jet chairman Naresh Goyal to the Air Sahara board. Following the failure of the deal, the companies filed lawsuits seeking damages from each other
A second, eventually successful attempt was made on 12 April 2007 with Jet Airways agreeing to pay ₹14.50 billion ($340 million). The deal gave Jet a combined domestic market share of about 32%.
On 16 April Jet Airways announced that Air Sahara will be renamed as Jetlite. The takeover was officially completed on 20 April, when Jet Airways paid ₹4 billion.
Rebranding to JetKonnect
Jetlite was merged with Jet Airways' inhouse low cost brand JetKonnect on 25 March 2012, allowing JetKonnect to emerge as a separate airline, the carrier retained Jetlite livery with JetKonnect title added to it.
- Merger with Jet Airways
On 1 December 2014 JetKonnect was integrated into Jet Airways ending its own operations, and now flies for them under code share, using its own Air Operators Certificate and flight code S2 till merger of the two companies is completed after approval. The aircraft fleet is also progressively being repainted in Jet Airways livery.
As of November 2014, JetKonnect served the following destinations:
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Andhra Pradesh
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal
JetKonnect fleet consistts of the following aircraft as of January 2015, configured in Business and Economy classes:
JetKonnect had a buy on board service called JetCafé, offering food for purchase in Economy, while free meals were offered in Business class. Full service was also provided, but only on flights using Jet Airways' 9W-2XXX code/numbered flights.
Incidents and accidents
On 8 March 1994, a Sahara Airlines Boeing 737-2R4C (registered VT-SIA) was engaged in a training flight with an instructor and 3 trainee pilots. Five circuits and landings were completed uneventfully and during the sixth touch-and-go exercise, after the take off from runway 28 of Indira Gandhi International Airport, the aircraft made a left turn and crashed at the International Terminal Apron. The wreckage of aircraft hit an Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-86 aircraft parked on Bay No. 45 as a result of which it also caught fire. Two Aeroflot employees, a Russian ground engineer and a local airport worker were killed on the ground. The accident occurred due to application of wrong rudder by trainee pilot during engine failure exercise. Capt. did not guard/block the rudder control and give clear commands as Instructor so as to obviate the application of wrong rudder control by the trainee pilot.
- Ref JetLite Fleet Update page
- Jet renames Air Sahara 'Jetlite' Rediff.com, 16 April 2007
- "India's Jet Airways to phase out LCC Jet Konnect". ch-aviation. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Air Sahara to launch London
- Air Sahara adds Male to network
- Air Sahara announces network expansion
- Sify.com[dead link]
- "BBC News". BBC News. 19 January 2006. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "Jet Airways discontinues JetLite, merges with Konnect — The Times of India". The Times of India.
- "Network". JetLite. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- JetKonnect Fleet
- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2R4C VT-SIA Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
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