Jet Airways Cuts Brussels, Launches New Delta Partnership

Jet Airways, the Indian airline which is partly owned by Etihad, has long had an interesting mini-hub in Brussels. Their North American destinations include Newark and Toronto, though they only serve them through Brussels. From there the flights continue to Delhi and Mumbai.

Jet-Airways

It’s a really cool setup since all four flights arrive and depart in Brussels within minutes of one another. So for an hour you have four Jet Airways A330s on the ground in Brussels, and then they don’t see another Jet Airways plane for another 23 hours.

Jet-Airways-A330
Three Jet Airways A330s at Brussels (taken from a fourth Jet Airways A330)

It’s pretty cool to be able to fly Jet Airways just between Toronto or Newark and Brussels, and beyond that it’s a pretty cool setup to time flights so that you can basically fly from two points in North America to two points in India with just one stop.

However, some changes are occurring. Jet Airways has been suffering financially for quite a while, and apparently is losing a significant amount of money on these routes.

Jet Airways is making some radical changes to their North America service, and their overall route strategy:

  • As of March 27, 2016, Jet Airways will be discontinuing their flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Brussels, as well as their flights from Brussels to Newark and Toronto
  • Jet Airways will launch a new strategic partnership with Delta and KLM as of March 27, 2016, whereby they’ll codeshare to 30 destinations in Europe and 11 destinations in North America
  • As part of the new strategic partnership, Jet Airways will launch daily flights from both Delhi and Mumbai to Amsterdam
  • Jet Airways will launch daily flights between Amsterdam and Toronto, though will be discontinuing their Newark route altogether

Delta-Jet-Airways

Jet Airways has long been a partner with American AAdvantage, so I’m hoping that doesn’t change with this new strategic partnership with Delta (unfortunately I fear it may). Jet Airways was a great way to fly between the US and Europe on a business class award without fuel surcharges.

Jet-Airways-Business-Class-A330-03
Jet Airways business class cabin

Jet-Airways-Business-Class-A330-11
Jet Airways business class food

The good news for SkyTeam flyers is that Delta SkyMiles and KLM FlyingBlue members will be able to earn and redeem miles on the codeshare routes operated by Jet Airways. I’m curious if this includes the flight between Toronto and Amsterdam, which I suspect may not be part of the codeshare agreement.

Delta Points shares a Q&A Delta put together with their Senior Vice President EMEA, Nat Pieper, about the logic behind this alliance (hint: the evil subsidized Gulf carriers are to blame!):

Q: Why is Delta embarking on a codeshare agreement with Jet?

NP: The primary reason is because government-subsidized Gulf carriers now dominate international travel to India, meaning U.S. airlines can no longer economically serve the Indian market directly from North America. India is a major business and trading partner with the United States and because the Gulf carriers have dumped subsidized capacity in the market, we are forced to find codeshare partners to be able to transport our customers to the region.

Q: Given that Etihad Airways owns a 24 percent stake in Jet, and those two airlines operate a strategic alliance that includes codesharing across their networks, is it hypocritical for Delta to partner with Jet when it is fighting to push Etihad out of U.S. markets?

NP: Etihad’s minority investment in Jet doesn’t change the fact that Gulf carriers have deeply distorted the playing field on international flights to India, in violation of the Open Skies agreements. We are asking the U.S. government to open consultations with the UAE and Qatar to address the subsidy issue. But in the meantime airlines like Delta are forced to find ways to adapt, and this codeshare is beneficial to our customers as well as Jet’s.

On the plus side, I sort of love that Delta is acknowledging they’re hypocrites in their own Q&A (“no… we’re not hypocrites… because subsidies9/11there’s no way the world’s most profitable airline could possibly fly to India and make money!“)

For more, check out the Delta and Jet Airways press releases about the new strategic partnership.

Bottom line

I’m sort of sad to see the Newark and Toronto to Brussels routes be cut, though I also get why Jet Airways is making this change. This seems like a smart move on their part, though I’m hoping it doesn’t come at the expense of their partnership with American AAdvantage.

I’m sort of surprised that Jet Airways didn’t just increase their frequencies between India and Abu Dhabi, and put most passengers on Etihad instead.

Etihad-A380
Etihad Airways A380 approaching JFK

What do you make of the new partnership between Delta, KLM, and Jet Airways?

Comments

  1. I doubt you will be able to get SkyMiles seats other than starting from AMS. And, giving Delta’s additive partner pricing, you will be paying for one award ticket to get to AMS and then another one from AMS with JET. I could be wrong, but very likely.

    BTW the HT is not to Delta Points but to Point Me To The Plane 😉

  2. Just another way for a ME3 carrier to expand. Etihad has a pretty cool approach, I think, taking stakes in airlines in different alliances, and routing people not only through AUH.

    Perhaps you can consider doing an analysis on the expansion of the ME3’s? The Emirates approach vs the Qatar approach vs the Etihad approach 🙂 *hint*

  3. OMAAT – Does this mean flights within India will now be possible using Delta miles? Currently trying to redeem a ticket from NYC to CCU on Delta, and Delta (through Air France) only goes to Delhi and Bombay. Does this partnership allow us to take a jet airways flight from DEL to CCU?

  4. This has been in the works for a while because Jet has been unable to work their Brussels mini hub for onward connections to Europe. Moreover, KLM doesn’t fly to Mumbai, so it had been rumored for a while that Jet would fly BOM-AMS, and that AMS was better for onward connections. The Newark service was cut because there is already plenty of traffic from NYC-AMS on Delta and KLM.

  5. Since Etihad and KLM already have a strategic partnership in place I am not surprised they took this step.
    Besides, Schiphol is a better hub to get to NA destinations given the extensive network of KLM and of course Delta compared to Brussels, so less layovers, however, a more logical choice would have been to increase frequencies to Abu Dhabi… but maybe they want to have slots open for other opportunities

  6. Call me clueless, but I have some questions: So how do I search for seats on Jet? I don’t see them on AA, and I have AA miles. How can I use Advantage Miles to fly Lax to Toronto to Ams and back? Thanks!!

  7. I currently have tickets on Jet Airways from Newark to Brussels in APRIL, booked through American on AAdvantage miles. What do I do now? Who should I be calling? American or Jet? Any advice on how I should play this, or what I should be asking for? (I have to fly into Brussels, as I have a connecting flight there, booked on another airline through another award program.)

    Thanks. Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

  8. Depends on what other miles you have…could call AA about impending change and ask to be put on BA to LHR-new York on 777-300?! The revenue department can probably open up seats (hopefully in business). Could also try and use Aeroplan miles TODAY and elect to cancel AA flight because of the change. BRU-IAD regularly has business and first class on United…hope you have 45K Aeroplan or ME points to book today because tomorrow it will be 55K

  9. Finally. It has been reported as far back as May 2013 that Jet would move its scissors hub from BRU to AMS, though it is a bit sad that they’re stopping EWR service altogether.

  10. This cuts capacity on the BRU-JFK/EWR route. (AA already exited this market about 3-4 years ago, once Brussels Airlines started their own flights into JFK) Time for AA to return to JFK-BRU service, or one of the 3 ME carriers to launch BRU-JFK ! Or even Open Sky’s to do something here.

  11. I flew Jet from BKK to EWR in October, with a return ticket in April stopping over in Brussels. What will happen now? Will Jet make good on the ticket by booking me on other carriers?

  12. It’s disappointing to see the EWR presence gone since my favorite airport in nyc area is EWR.
    If the average non-US passport holder has flown through the U.S. Preclearance facility in AUH, I’d say the preference would still be to fly Etihad to the USA. It’s just so much more convenient upon arriva in the USA after a 15 hour flight to go straight to baggage claim and see your family versus going through more queues at immigration and customs.

  13. I’m surprised that Atlanta is not part of the codeshare agreement. being the biggest hub of delta, this was a no brainer. But! Only the know why

  14. Newark and Toronto have the most Dense Indian population, ATL is not so much, that is why ATL to BOM direct failed..

  15. So it’s mid April and still not possible to redeem Delta miles on Jet from Ams to Bom. Delta just says it’s not available even though Jets web site shows availability. I checked all the way until 2017. No dice. So sad.

  16. Newark is preferred airport in New York-New Jersey for traveler it has more relaxed environment to JFK. It has access roads easily approachable than JFK approach roads. The most of New Jersey and Manhattan air travelers prefer to use Newark to JFK. Jet started its USA to India flights from Newark and abandoning it now seems to be pretty strange. Hope they restore their Newark flights to India. Business in trouble some time make drastic changes. I had been regular passenger on Jet from Newark to India. I may have to miss this convenient to India from Newark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *