India-based Jet Airways changed up their North America routes early last year, given that the airline has been bleeding money for a long time. The airline used to have a mini-hub in Brussels, and operated flights from Newark and Toronto to Brussels, with connecting flights to Delhi and Mumbai.
In theory it seemed like an efficient network, since the flights were timed so that travelers could transfer from Newark and Toronto to either Delhi or Mumbai, and vice versa. Unfortunately the bigger problem was that without nonstop flights between North America and India, they didn’t really have a competitive advantage over any other airline offering one stop service between the regions.
So they changed up their strategy, and eliminated Brussels as a hub. They discontinued flights to Newark altogether, and kept operating a flight to Toronto, except via Amsterdam instead of Brussels. As part of this, the airline launched a strategic partnership with Delta and KLM, with extensive codesharing.
The idea was that Delta and KLM would provide the feed to Amsterdam, and then Jet Airways could carry passengers from Amsterdam to India.
You can now redeem Delta miles on Jet Airways
Last September Delta announced that they’d introduce reciprocal mileage earning & redemptions throughout the airlines’ networks. Well, the good news is that it looks like it’s now possible to redeem SkyMiles for travel on Jet Airways on delta.com. There are no fuel surcharges for redeeming Delta miles on Jet Airways. Award costs on Jet Airways are the same as the saver level costs on all of Delta’s other partners, as follows:
- North America to India: 40,000 miles in economy, 97,500 miles in business class
- North America to Europe: 30,000 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in business class
- Europe to India: 35,000 miles in economy, 65,000 miles in business class
- Within India: 12,500 miles in economy, 25,000 miles in business class
Fortunately award availability is readily available in both economy and business class. This is true whether you’re looking at a North America to Europe award:
Or a North America to India award:
Or even an award within India:
This is a nice new option to have with SkyMiles, and it’s great that it’s bookable online. Delta seems to have access to the same Jet Airways award availability as other partner airlines.
You can also redeem American miles on Jet Airways
American AAdvantage is also a Jet Airways partner, though they make you book by phone. While Delta’s award rates are higher in some cases, I also know that some people value AAdvantage miles more than SkyMiles. As a point of comparison, here’s how much American charges for the same Jet Airways awards:
- North America to India: 40,000 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in business class
- North America to Europe: 30,000 miles in economy, 57,500 miles in business class
- Europe to India: 20,000 miles in economy, 42,500 miles in business class
- Within India: 10,000 miles in economy, 17,500 miles in business class
United and Jet Airways are discontinuing their partnership
As it stands, Jet Airways partners with American, Delta, and United. It looks like Jet Airways and United are discontinuing their relationship as of March 26, 2017, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It’s rare for an airline to partner with all three of the big U.S. carriers, so it looks like the Delta relationship is coming at the expense of the United relationship.
It’s great to see Delta add the capability to redeem miles on Jet Airways, and in particular that they allow it online and without fuel surcharges. While SkyMiles award rates are getting pretty high for business class, this will prove a great option for people going to India.
However, for those with United miles, it’s disappointing (though not surprising) to see that partnership ending.
Anyone looking forward to redeeming SkyMiles on Jet Airways?
(Tip of the hat to MileCards)