Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways says that airlines are expecting strong growth in all Indian destinations. Keeping that in view, the company plans to have a fleet of 35 aircraft by 2026, which will be exclusively neo type aircraft.
Jazeera Airways was the first non-government airline in the Middle East, and it continues to be one of the few Middle East-based private airlines to this day. Jazeera Airways currently flies to 28 destinations operating a reliable fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.
In June 2018, Jazeera was the first airline in the Middle East to introduce the A320neo into its fleet. “There are currently seven aircraft in our fleet: nine A320neos and eight A320ceos. Our current order is for 20 A320neos and eight A321neos. By 2026, we will have a fleet of 35 aircraft that will be exclusively neo type aircraft as we retire older aircraft,” said Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways.
He further added that in March 2020, they took swift action to reduce their cost base. “We also secured additional credit from our banks should we need it. After that, our shareholders declined to take their dividends to ease our finances further. Combined with a strong cash position before we entered the pandemic, these factors helped us survive the inevitable losses to the point where we actually returned to profitability in 2021,” he said.
Speaking of their outlook for Indian market and how important it is for them, Ramachandran said that they are expecting strong growth in all of the Indian destinations. The airways now fly to six cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Chennai. Therefore, the Indian market is very important to them. Over 1 million Indian expats live and work in Kuwait, which makes them the largest segment of their target market. India is strategically very important to Jazeera Airways due to the travels to and from home as well as visitation of friends and relatives. In addition, they also offer connections to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries through Kuwait. They also offer leisure destinations to Indian tourists through Kuwait.