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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jet vs Kingfisher: The battle for No.1 slot

On October 28, at a ceremony to unveil Air Deccan's new-look aircraft in Mumbai, chairman of United Breweries [Get Quote] group and Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya, said with characteristic flourish: "We have given the full service carriers a run for their money. Now, we will give the low cost carriers a run for theirs."
Though he did not refer to any one airline, it was clear his statement was directed at Jet Airways [Get Quote] and Jetlite (formerly Air Sahara). Ever since Mallya launched Kingfisher in May 2005, making it number one in India has been a foregone conclusion; it's the world's biggest carriers he wants to take on.
Kingfisher's meteoric rise has taken rival and unquestioned number one domestic carrier in the country, Jet Airways, quite by surprise. Used to competing with only Sahara (never a worthy opponent anyway), Jet enjoyed several years of unfettered success after it had trounced Indian Airlines's monopoly and market, becoming India's premier airline since 1993.

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