Kuwaiti hybrid carrier Jazeera Airways has suspended plans to seek a long-haul partner, and will instead pursue more opportunities in the Indian subcontinent, according to Bloomberg, citing Jazeera chairman Marwan Boodai as he unveiled a rebranding exercise for the airline.

Jazeera operates a fleet of seven Airbus A320s on regional services around the Middle East.

The Kuwait-based airline has been searching for a joint-venture partner, and has held talks with several potential allies as recently as early summer. However, it has now decided to put those plans on the back burner as it instead turns to potentially more lucrative returns from the subcontinent.

According to the report, Jazeera will start services to Hyderabad in India and Lahore in Pakistan this month, and will add Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai services to the network before the end of this year.

Like most Gulf states, Kuwait has a large population of workers from the subcontinent who fulfill a wide range of blue collar and managerial roles. There is a constant flow of travelers going back and forth at the start or end of contracts, or for vacations.

Like most airlines in the region, Jazeera has recently suffered from falling yields; Boodai has complained several times of rivals dumping too much capacity into the Kuwait market. However, revenues improved substantially over the summer months, the peak time for travel in the region.

Boodai told Bloomberg that Jazeera would acquire two more A320s to cope with the expansion of its route network. All of its current fleet is leased.

The airline has embarked on a series of measures to attract customers, including paying for the construction of exclusive gates at Kuwait International Airport. It also plans to open its own terminal at the airport in early 2018.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com