Mumbai: With the government withdrawing Kingfisher Airlines' international flying rights and domestic slots, the Jet Airways has approached the Aviation Ministry to acquire six of the vacant slots, according to sources. "We have applied to the government to acquire six slots from Mumbai. Of these, we are looking at four domestic and two international routes," Jet Airways sources said.
Out of the six slots from Mumbai, Jet has sought three morning slots and remaining three evening ones, they said adding, "the destinations are being worked out." Last week, the government had withdrawn all domestic and international flying slots of Kingfisher Airlines, which remains grounded since October 1 last, with immediate effect and decided to allot them to other domestic airlines.
The Vijay Mallya-promoted carrier's flying licence also expired last December, which though can be revived. Besides operating on domestic routes, Kingfisher also used to operate to Britain (seven flights a week), the UAE (21 flights per week), Thailand (21 weekly flights), Nepal (seven), Bangladesh (14 a week), Sri Lanka (35 per week), Hong Kong (14 a week) and Singapore (7).
The withdrawal of these slots has made available approximately 25,000 seats per week for other carriers to these eight countries. Interestingly, the Naresh-Goyal promoted Jet Airways is seeking these slots after selling its all three slots at the premier London's Heathrow airport to the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad for $70 million last week, in a move that may bring its ongoing discussions with the Gulf carrier for stake sale closer to fruition.