Jet Airways has been running in losses for quite some time now. And those losses are not running in few crores but instead in thousands of crores. These problems started from the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and have continued till today. SARS, Recession, Fuel prices, Terrorism, Human Capital, Strikes – You name the issue and it’s affected the airline industry. And Jet hasn’t escaped it. But then it has had many problems of its own as well.
Jet Airways is one of the top most full service carriers in the country in terms of market share. Under itself, it operates two brands – Jet Lite and Jet Konnect. When it thought of moving into the LCC (low cost carrier) segment, it took over Sahara and rebranded it as Jet Lite. Smaller aircraft with lesser services (no food or food at a cost), different uniforms, a slight change in the logo and basically travelling on all kinds of routes (those with heavy as well as ones with lesser load factors) – Jet Lite seems to have a different positioning.
But then the takeover was not too smooth as has been the case in the Indian aviation industry (with Air India and Indian Airlines). There were a lot of legal hassles and this was followed by the recession which hit the Indian aviation sector hard. Therefore Jet decided to shift some of its own aircrafts to Jet Lite. But due to certain problems they couldn’t do so. And thus another new brand “Jet Konnect” was born.
Jet Konnect offered no–frill services but with similar imagery, interiors and uniforms of the staff to the customers. Now for a person who has no idea, it gives an image that a person is buying a ticket of Jet Airways. But when he experiences the flight service, he is shocked to find that the service standards are poor.
Through this move, Jet planned to save costs, generate profits and try to get in more customers, but instead it proved to be a disaster.
The normal thinking states that for an organization to have three brands makes sense only when all three are clearly differentiable in terms of features, price points anything. But in this case, Jet Konnect’s presence has led to complete customer confusion and dissatisfaction.
Now, let me tell you that I am not an expert at this, and this is my personal opinion. According to me, Jet Konnect should be consolidated with Jet Lite so that the low cost carrier remains Jet Lite. On the other hand, merging Jet Lite into Jet Konnect would probably be a disaster. The biggest reason being, Jet Konnect does not really have any identity as of now neither does the brand reflect anything different. Whereas “Lite” in itself conveys it is Low Cost carrier.
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