CEO Blog

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

9W

The parallels are somewhat frightening: Etihad doesn’t stick to promised commitments and drops an airline, in which it holds a minority stake – while keeping the control over its Frequent Flyer Program, which is managed by a strong local team. That was the case with Air Berlin and is, unfortunately, repeating now at Indian carrier Jet Airways – just on a much bigger scale. Nevertheless, its program JetPrivilege has surprised us with an interesting innovation: Starting immediately, miles can be used for the purchase of regular tickets on a range of airlines, including on airlines, which are not partners in the program. Miles can thereby be used as partial or as full payment for tickets. However, the counter value is rather lousy: As such, a one-way international short-haul flight in Economy Class costs 26,000, 30,100, 36,100 or 64,100 miles, depending on the ticket price, when paid in full by miles. A one-way Business Class long-haul flight costs at least 316,500 miles, but usually rather between 500,000 and 900,000 miles. As seen in the case of Air Berlin that the stand-alone Frequent Flyer Program had ultimately no chance for survival without its airline, the new offer by JetPrivilege should be used soon before it’s too late.