SUDIPTA DEV – Mumbai
Jet Airways has tied up with HDFC Bank to come up with a new range of Jet Privilege-HDFC Bank co-branded credit cards. Founded in 1994 Jet Privilege frequent flier programme has a two million strong membership base and a tier-based recognition and rewards system. The cardholders will be able to pool their reward points into JPMiles. “As we speak we are changing the structure of JetPrivilege so that consumers get what we promise,” said Sudheer Raghavan, chief commercial officer, Jet Airways. Acknowledging that the airline industry is vulnerable to any change that happens across the world, Raghavan stressed on the need to find new sources of revenue and new partners to do business with. “This is one such initiative,” he added. He pointed out that there are a lot of aspiration based travel in the tier II and tier III cities and the airline wanted a partner that has a strong presence in those markets.
Raghavan mentioned that in the US, partnerships that US legacy carriers have established with banks and other partners consists of 50 per cent of ancillary revenues, which is a significant amount taking into consideration the fact that 25 per cent of these airlines’ earnings comes from ancillary sources.
“This is not a number to scoff at, it is huge, and is a global trend. Across the world there is a growing trend of carriers selling optional services at a price. The downturn in 2008 gave a boost to this in the US, but in India we have lived in the time capsule. In a price sensitive market like India where it is not easy to increase the cost of the ticket, we need to look at other avenues of generating ancillary revenue,” stated Raghavan.
Nikos Kardassis, CEO, Jet Airways averred that the JetPrivilege-HDFC Bank co-branded credit cards will bring value to the customers and also bring in revenue. This is the very first time that HDFC is doing co-branding and it is a non-exclusive arrangement for both sides. Kardassis said, “We conducted a survey with JetPrivilege members to know their preference and HDFC came on top of the list. We see HDFC as a better partner with better reach.”
Following five quarters of losses the airline has posted a profit for the period April-June, 2012. Reiterating the airline’s strong presence Kardassis stated, “We are the best airline in India. We have a strong foundation and will be there are 50 years also.”