|Founded||1991 (as Sahara Airlines)|
|Operating bases||Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi)|
|Frequent-flyer program||Jet Privilege|
|Destinations||22 (February 2017)|
|Company slogan||Emotionally Yours|
|Parent company||Tailwinds Limited|
|Key people||Naresh Goyal (Owner)|
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 as a move towards operating under one brand. 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.
The key trends for Jet Lite (India) Limited ('Jet Lite') over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 March):
|Revenue (₹: INR lakhs[nb 1])||157,947||178,615||190,386||201,136||176,364|
|Profits (₹: INR lakhs)||4,619||−10,747||−18,403||−29,523||−42,931|
|Load Factor (%)||75.0||79.2||77.9||74.8||72.7|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||25||19||19||15||12|
- 1 laks = 100,000
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.
- "JetLite". ch-aviation. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
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- Jet renames Air Sahara 'Jetlite' Rediff.com, 16 April 2007
- Air Sahara to launch London
- Air Sahara adds Male to network
- Air Sahara announces network expansion
- Sify.com Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
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- "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 16.
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- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2R4C VT-SIA Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
Media related to JetLite at Wikimedia Commons