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'We understand the cost dynamics of the A320'

At six and a quarter hours, Gatwick will be Jazeera’s longest route to date, leveraging the six to seven-hour range of its Airbus A320neo aircraft.


The airline plans to expand its current fleet of 10 aircraft to 16 by the end of next year, eight of which will be neos, with a further four neos scheduled to join the fleet during 2021.


Ramachandran revealed to TTG Jazeera was already looking at more European routes, including Manchester, as well as others in western Europe, but stressed the airline’s immediate focus was to make a success of its Gatwick operation.


When pressed on the difficulties posed by the notoriously fickle low-cost long-haul market, Ramachandran said Jazeera – with its neos – was taking a fresh approach to the challenge.


“Since the early 80s, lots of people have tried low-cost long-haul, and by no means is it a proven business model,” he said. “Having a low-cost long-haul wide-body operation has proved a challenging business model.


“We believe we understand the cost dynamics of the A320 narrow-body family well – moving from five-and-a-half hour flights to six-and-a-half hours is still very much in the realm of profitability.

 

"I also believe flying six-and-a-half hours in a narrow-body sharing with another 140-odd passengers is a better proposition than sharing with another 400.


“And let's be clear, there's currently no other low-cost alternative flying to the GCC [Gulf region] or to the Indian subcontinent from London.”

Uniform departures; low-fares; better experience

Ramachandran added he was confident Jazeera would be able to negotiate a more uniform schedule for its operation at Gatwick, with its flights departing between midday and 2pm Monday to Friday and on Sundays, and at 4.40pm on Saturdays.


Jazeera’s economy Gatwick fares lead in from £299pp, premium economy £550pp and business £850pp.

 

Flights will operate to and from Jazeera's own terminal at Kuwait International airport where Ramachandran said it would be possible for passengers to make it from check-in to their aircraft in 15 minutes, while allowing the airline to more scope to determine passenger experience.

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