Logistics

KLM-AirFrance CEO: Jet Airways tie up helps us link to more Indian cities

Ashwini Phadnis New Delhi | Updated on September 05, 2018

Pieter Elbers, KLM President and CEO   -  Paul Noronha

While being clear that he will not remark on equity investments in Jet Airways, Pieter J, th. Elbers, President and Chief Executive, KLM, talks to BusinessLine on what value proposition the Jet Airways tie up with KLM-Air France brings to the table. Edited excerpts.

On the US-Europe route, KLM-Air France, Delta and Virgin enjoy a close to 25 per cent market share. Given that you now have greater cooperation with Jet Airways from a market like India, which is an origin and destination market, going into the US and Canada how much does that add to the grouping?

Our joint venture on the North Atlantic with Air France-KLM, Delta, Alitalia and going forward even Virgin makes us one of the strongest and most integrated joint ventures across the North Atlantic. We have a great network both crossing the Atlantic and domestic connections to the US.

Everyone knows that there is a huge flow between US and India. Using our Amsterdam and Charles de Gaulle hubs and connecting them directly into the network of Jet Airways is helping us both.

You are currently about 25 per cent in that market. How much will that go up with Jet coming on board?

I do not think that is the way to look at it. I will say that it will help us compete better.

Does it help you take the fight back to the West Asian carriers that also have a huge presence in India and US markets?

I think in the US market we already have a very strong position to Europe. Our position to India was not so strong in the US market. Today, we offer our US customers flights to Charles de Gaulle or Amsterdam and from there one has perfect connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.

We see this moving forward. This is a big asset for our customers, especially when they want to go to places other than the four cities that I have mentioned because they can connect here in India.

How much has that increased the traffic flow for the grouping as such?

We have seen double digit growth in terms of numbers.

On both sides or is it one way?

It is both sides. We clearly see the Indian market growing very strong. We see growth from the Indian, the US and the European market as well. Indian tourists have been traditionally more oriented to the US. But now if we take just Amsterdam, we have big numbers of Indian tourists, much more than in recent years.

Published on September 05, 2018

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