Jet rechristens Air Sahara as JetLite

Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Mumbai: Air Sahara is all set to undergo a complete makeover with a new name, JetLite, and a new look, following its takeover by rival Jet Airways for 14.50 billion last week.

JetLite, which will be positioned between a low-cost and a full-service carrier, will operate as a separate entity and Jet Airways' wholly owned subsidiary.

"Sahara Airlines Ltd will continue to operate as a separate entity as a wholly owned subsidy of Jet Airways under its new name, JetLite," Jet chairman Naresh Goyal said at a press conference here.

"JetLite will be fully backed by Jet Airways operationally and financially. It will operate its own fleet of aircraft," he said.

Goyal also said Jet would buy 20 new aircraft by end of May investing about $3.7 billion.

He added that all Air Sahara employees would be retained as some would be inducted in Jet Airways and the rest would be absorbed with the Sahara Parivar, its former parent group.

Jet, India's largest private airline, will command a market share of over 33 percent after the acquisition.

As part of comprehensive expansion plans, it will launch new seats, new in-flight service, new staff uniform and a new corporate identity for its international operations.

Goyal hinted at Jet's plan to raise $400 million to fund its overseas expansion plans and seek the government's permission to continue operating on international routes of Air Sahara.

"We will seek the Indian government's permission to operate international routes plied by Air Sahara, particularly in the Gulf region and Africa."

The aircraft will sport a new logo of gold-orange-blue but will retain its "flying into the sun" design on tail fins.

Goyal brushed aside rumours that Jet had not agreed to pay more in its earlier failed deal with Sahara and said that the deal was as per the value at that time in 2006.
Source: IANS
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