CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF THE JOY OF FLYING

This year we celebrate the silver jubilee anniversary of serving the nation and our guests and along the way emerging as India’s most preferred airline. As we take a look back, we celebrate with a sense of pride and humble achievement the first 25 years of Jet Airways.

On this momentous milestone, do join us on our flight down memory lane as we relive the past and soar towards a bright future.

On May 5, 1993, at the Mumbai Airport the first aircraft with a distinct blue and ochre livery and an oblong, serrated sun denoting speed, slowly taxied for takeoff. On its wings, it bore the hopes and aspirations of an emerging company and its young executives who had been at the drawing board putting together the structure of an enterprise they hoped would weather the metamorphosis of a sector that had just been carefully opened to private participation by a reform-oriented government.

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Late Mr. JRD Tata with Mr. Naresh Goyal, Founder and Chairman, Jet Airways during the inauguration of the first fight on May 5, 1993.

On May 5, 1993, at the Mumbai Airport the first aircraft with a distinct blue and ochre livery and an oblong, serrated sun denoting speed, slowly taxied for takeoff. On its wings, it bore the hopes and aspirations of an emerging company and its young executives who had been at the drawing board putting together the structure of an enterprise they hoped would weather the metamorphosis of a sector that had just been carefully opened to private participation by a reform-oriented government.

PROMISING BEGINNINGS

Jet Airways’ mission of establishing a world-class airline, namely the values of professionalism and warmth were reflected in the product and service delivery to our guests. These core values were built into the brand colours where blue stands for professionalism and yellow represents warmth. Similarly, the chosen corporate symbol—the Flying Sun—was conceptualised as a graphic representation of an aircraft’s tailwing speeding past the sun. In the first year itself, we operated 28 daily flights to 12 destinations in India with a fleet of just four Boeing 737-300 aircraft, leased from Ansett Aviation, Australia. Ansett was also the chosen partner for training our pilots and engineers, thus ensuring that operations were reliable and that we placed the safety of guests in the best possible hands Investments were made in hiring the world’s best expertise that enabled Jet Airways to deliver a new and superior air travel experience on the ground and in the air, thereby ensuring that our guests would truly experience the ‘Joy of Flying’.

FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

In our first year of operations, Jet Airways announced the launch of a flight connecting Mumbai and Kolkata, two of India’s largest cities. This was no ordinary launch; Jet Airways entered the City of Joy with great hopes and dreams on June 22, 1994.

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Mrs. Shalini Lall, GM Northern India JetAir, Late Mr. Saroj K Datta,ex-director at Jet Airways and Mr. SP Ohri, ex-GM JetAir with Mother Teresa while pledging Jet Airways’ revenue

Like other progressive business organisations, Jet Airways has always dreamt of being an airline that brings about change in the social environment it operates in. Since inception, we have sought to make Jet Airways an airline for the people, committed to its social responsibilities and continuously honouring its commitment to the community – a promise we have kept even 25 years on. As part of this endeavour, we pledged one per cent of our revenue made over three months to Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. It was an honour and privilege for Jet Airways to be associated with Mother Teresa and her missionaries who continue to work tirelessly towards caring for the underprivileged; we believe her blessings have helped us reach our silver jubilee anniversary today.

Like other progressive business organisations, Jet Airways has always dreamt of being an airline that brings about change in the social environment it operates in. Since inception, we have sought to make Jet Airways an airline for the people, committed to its social responsibilities and continuously honouring its commitment to the community – a promise we have kept even 25 years on. As part of this endeavour, we pledged one per cent of our revenue made over three months to Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. It was an honour and privilege for Jet Airways to be associated with Mother Teresa and her missionaries who continue to work tirelessly towards caring for the underprivileged; we believe her blessings have helped us reach our silver jubilee anniversary today.

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Our unique Flight of Fantasy programme

In our first year of operations, Jet Airways announced the launch of a flight connecting Mumbai and Kolkata, two of India’s largest cities. This was no ordinary launch; Jet Airways entered the City of Joy with great hopes and dreams on June 22, 1994.

The service values of professionalism and customer friendliness were also incorporated into the design of crew uniforms, which projected a contemporary, professional, elegant and friendly appearance. Worn by a young and attractive crew, the early uniforms, that were western in appearance, marked a refreshing change in the domestic aviation market of the early 1990s. These evolved to stay contemporary again in 1999 and then in 2007 as part of a multi-million dollar rebranding of Jet Airways’ corporate identity, undertaken in order to reflect progression from a world-class domestic airline to India’s premier international airline. The newer uniforms were designed by renowned Italian designer, Roberto Capucci, who envisioned a group of smart and elegant people rather than ‘air crew’.

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A look at the transformation of Jet Airways’ crew uniforms over the years.

Encouraged by the market response and the successful establishment of operations as per meticulous planning in the first year, we began implementing plans to rapidly expand our network. We added two more Boeing 737 aircraft, increasing the fleet to 6 aircraft and operations to 39 daily flights to/from 14 destinations. By the end of our 10th year of operations, Jet Airways had a fleet of 41 aircraft that operated over 250 flights daily. In the following 10 years, focus was laid on a measured and gradual expansion consistent with market requirements, and in 2011 reached another milestone when we took delivery of the 100th aircraft into the fleet. Today, the airline operates a fleet of 119 aircraft.

CONNECTING INDIA TO THE WORLD

We became the first private Indian airline to fly to international destinations, setting a benchmark for other airlines in the Indian civil aviation sector to follow. Chennai-Colombo was followed in quick succession by the launch of flights from Delhi to Kathmandu in May 2004. By late 2007, Jet Airways had opened new international routes to important tourist and business traffic destinations such as Singapore, Bangkok and London, and had flown over 75 million passengers!

The induction of newer, next generation aircraft enabled us to further upgrade our product offerings on the long-haul international routes and add more destinations to our network. In 2007, we had begun taking delivery of B777-300ERs and the A330-200s with their uniquely designed seating configurations, flat beds in Première and the individual suites in First Class on the B777-300 ERs. On August 5, 2007, Jet Airways commenced operations to Newark via Brussels, becoming India’s first private sector airline to operate scheduled services across the North Atlantic quickly followed by another daily long-haul Trans-Atlantic flight to Toronto. Jet Airways had also introduced Brussels as its international gateway in 2007, making history by being the first Indian carrier to do so. By April 2008, international operations had expanded exponentially to include flights to Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Jet Airways’ reputation as one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world was further enhanced in 2008 with a foray into the Gulf, which has proved to be an important sector for us due to the high trade and tourism between India and the Gulf region. We have steadily risen in the Gulf market and are today the largest private Indian airline to fly there.

The year 2013 saw Jet Airways forge a strategic alliance with Etihad Airways under the FDI Policy of the Government of India, where Etihad Airways held 24 per cent of the enlarged share capital of Jet Airways. An unparalleled first in the history of Indian civil aviation, this alliance created a combined network of 140 destinations, providing our guests with access to international destinations as never before.

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Mr Pieter Elbers, President ans CEO, KLM, Mr. Jean-Marc Janaillac, Chairman and CEO of Air France - KLM, Mr. Naresh Goyal Chairman, Jet Airways, Mr. Franck Terner, CEO, Air France and Mr. Vinay Dube, CEO Jet Airways with crew of all the airlines.

As aviation dynamics in Europe changed, Jet Airways took the decision of shifting its international base from Brussels to Amsterdam in the spring of 2016 in order to allow greater connectivity to its guests in Europe and America. The move to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was a significant step for us and it demonstrated our continuous endeavour to provide greater choice and better connections for guests – starting with two daily non-stop flights from its international gateways in Mumbai and Delhi, and a third later from Bengaluru as well.

In November 2017, Jet Airways went on to sign a landmark ‘Enhanced Cooperation Agreement’ for the development of operations between Europe and India, with codeshare partners Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This was a first-of-its-kind association in the India-Europe market and an extension of our strong partnership between the three networks. Our valued guests could now choose from 64 weekly flights with multiple travel options from 106 destinations across Europe and 45 cities in India, as well as 200 destinations across North America, thus benefiting from a seamless service throughout Jet Airways, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ networks as well as our codeshare partner Delta Air Lines.

As we look back at the last 25 years, we feel a great sense of satisfaction and justifiable pride and humility at having grown from being India’s best and most preferred domestic airline to India’s premier international airline with direct flights to 65 destinations (45 domestic and 20 international) that span the length and breadth of India and beyond, as well as more than 450 destinations globally with our codeshare and interline partners.

GUESTS COME FIRST

As an airline, Jet Airways continues to build on the foundations laid down with its first flight 25 years ago. Today, as then, we believe that an airline’s success depends upon its guests’ and their satisfaction. We continue to go the extra mile to build long-standing relationships with them. It is this commitment that led to Jet Airways winning ‘India’s Best Airline’ award in 2017, in TripAdvisor’s first annual Travellers’ Choice awards for airlines for the year.

Jet Airways’ loyalty programme is also an example of the airline’s commitment to strengthen that relationship. JetPrivilege, India’s largest frequent flyer programme, offers the unique benefit of accelerated accumulation of JPMiles through the use of cobranded credit and debit cards, stay across domestic and international hotel partners, and transactions with any of the 150+ programme partners from different industries such as retail, telecom, lifestyle, dining, and entertainment to name a few. Today, the programme boasts 7 million plus members. JetPrivilege is the proud recipient of the prestigious Freddie Awards five times in a row from 2004 to 2008 and then again in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

o reach out to a larger cross-section of guests and engage with them on a real-time basis, we today offer social media platforms such as Facebook LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. This helps us in obtaining valuable feedback from guests on their experience with Jet Airways and continually taking steps to meet their expectations. In 2017, Jet Airways was listed as a top performer on social media across airlines, in the APAC region.

AT THE FOREFRONT OF NEW TECHNOLOGY

Our emphasis on cutting-edge technology is one of the key factors for our success. We realised early on that if we were to build an airline that is at par with the best in the world, we needed to be relentless in our pursuit to continuously innovate. After the first flight that introduced the Modern Generation B737-300 to India, we set out to upgrade our fleet with a clear focus on high-quality, reliable service.

In 2015, Jet Airways also placed its largest ever fleet order – 75 Boeing Max aircraft. The Boeing 737 aircraft type is the backbone of Jet Airways’ fleet. The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will serve the airline not only to replace its existing fleet but also to equip it with modern and environmentally progressive airplanes thereby fueling the airline’s expansion strategy to support its network and growth aspirations in the world’s fastest growing aviation market.

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Technology has also been employed every step of the way to enhance the travel experience for guests. Some of these include the pioneering concepts of satellite ticketing at corporate houses; e-ticketing; JetMobile (mobile ticketing); JetWallet (self-service GPRS booking channel in association with Vodafone); IVR booking (with e-tickets sent via email); automated ticketing at travel agents; mobile apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows ; JetAdvance (where guests have flexibility to advance their booking for a nominal fee); integrating Google Now into the booking system so that guests using the app can receive updates on upcoming flights and flight status. Similarly, a number of time-saving check-in options were introduced over the years, such as Web Check-in and Kiosk Check-in

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In a first in the Indian market, 2016 saw Jet Airways roll out an in-flight entertainment service, JetScreen that allowed fliers to now stream over 200 hours of digital content on smartphones, tablets or laptops for free. This new wireless streaming in-flight entertainment service offered guests an exciting range of Indian, Hollywood, regional and international movies, famous TV shorts, video games and music to suit every mood and taste. Today, JetScreen offers our guests more than 330 hours of in-flight entertainment; to put that in perspective, if one were to watch all of it in one go that would be almost 14 days of non-stop content!

SOARING AHEAD

The figures speak for themselves – from just four aircraft in 1993-94 to 119 aircraft today; from 12 destinations back then to 65 destinations today; and from 24 daily flights in 1993-94 to a whopping 662 departures and arrivals today, the growth has been phenomenal.

Looking back at the 25 years gone by, Jet Airways managed to change the landscape of aviation in India. The airline opened up the country and made it accessible to citizens like never before.

On behalf of the 16,000 employees of the Jet Airways family we wish to thank you sincerely. We could not have made it so far without the support of primarily our guests, vendors, suppliers, our partners and the government.

As we look back at our journey with pride and humility, it would be remiss if we did not extend our heartfelt thanks to our partners across the globe who have walked with us shoulder to shoulder in good times and in bad. Our guests who remain at the very core of everything we do, you have inspired us, corrected us and motivated us to scale newer heights and for that we thank you. We are forever committed to offering you our guests a seamless and memorable travel journey and as we stand at the cusp of a new dawn for Jet Airways, we rededicate ourselves to dream bigger goals and spread our wings wider so we together can soar ahead and continue to make history.

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