Aviation

Jet Airways partners Virgin Atlantic to overcome laptop ban hurdles

MUMBAI: Hit by laptop ban on flights originating from middle east airports, Jet Airways has partnered Virgin Atlantic for expansion of their codeshare agreement between India and the United States, providing alternate choice via London Heathrow, bypassing Abu Dhabi, reports Business Line.

The US government last month banned the use of all electronic items larger than a cell phone during the flight, which includes laptops, tablets, e-readers, portable DVD players, gaming devices larger than a smartphone, and travel-size printers and scanners.

The policy covers only non-stop flights to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, hitting Emirates and Etihad Airlines severely.

Jet Airways, partly owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, currently flies to US via Abu Dhabi, which makes Jet Airways impacted by the laptop ban as well. Passengers have already seen switching to Air India since the laptop ban so that they can continue working on their laptops on 14-17 hours long flights to the US.

From April 19, 2017, Jet Airways passengers travelling between India and the United States will be able to connect through London Heathrow on to nine US destinations operated by Virgin Atlantic; Atlanta, Boston, Newark, Washington (IAD), New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle.

This expansion builds on the existing agreement between Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic in place since 2009 – enabling Virgin Atlantic guests to travel on Jet Airways operated services between Mumbai and London Heathrow in addition to the airline’s own direct Delhi to London service. In 2015 this codeshare was extended on to Jet Airways domestic services allowing Virgin Atlantic guests to travel between London Heathrow and five destinations across India via Delhi or Mumbai.

Gaurang Shetty, Whole-time Director, Jet Airways, said, “The new codeshares build on the success of our ongoing cooperation with Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic over London Heathrow and will provide our guests with more connectivity to and within the United States.”

Shai Weiss, Chief Commercial Officer for Virgin Atlantic, said: “From this week customers of both airlines can travel from five destinations across India with Jet Airways, and connect via London Heathrow to nine US destinations with Virgin Atlantic including Boston and Los Angeles, as well as many more US destinations with transatlantic partner Delta Airlines via key hubs such as New York and Atlanta. This innovative codeshare allows customers to tailor their journey using a combination of flights from Jet Airways, Virgin Atlantic and their transatlantic partner Delta Air Lines – whilst continuing to benefit from a single check in and bag drop.”

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