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13th December 2017
Air Deccan set to relaunch operations
Air Deccan will relaunch begin with bases at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Shillong, connecting them with smaller cities
Air Deccan was founded in 2003 and merged with Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, which was later grounded under financial duress.
New Delhi: Air Deccan, India’s first domestic low cost airline, is set to relaunch operations this month with what it is remembered for the most—Re1 airfares.
Air Deccan, founded by G.R. Gopinath in 2003, merged with Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, which was grounded in 2012 under financial duress.
In its second innings, the airline will begin with four bases at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Shillong, connecting them with smaller cities around them.
The first Air Deccan flight will take off on 22 December and fly to Mumbai from Nashik, Gopinath told Mint, speaking from his home in Bengaluru.
“This will be my last Udan and then I will hang up my boots,” said Gopinath, who has been waiting for a re-entry for few years now.
Air Deccan will also operate daily return flights between Nashik and Pune and Mumbai and Jalgaon.
By January, the airline plans to station a second aircraft in Delhi to connect the city with Agra, Shimla, Ludhiana, Pantnagar, Dehradun and Kullu.
Air Deccan will also station two planes in Kolkata, flying them to Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Durgapur, Bagdogra, Burnpur, Cooch Behar, Agartala, and from Shillong to Imphal, Dimapur, Aizawl and Agartala. It will use 19-seater Beech 1900 D planes that are used worldwide. Three of these planes have already joined its fleet and two more will be added over the next few weeks, according to Gopinath.
By January, four planes will be used for services and one will be kept on standby.
Gopinath said he would like to expand faster, but is not getting slots and parking at the congested Mumbai and Delhi airports and flying to airports on the outskirts would ruin the small airline even before it has taken its first baby steps. Initially, the airline was not granted even one slot at these airports and it took several requests made to the aviation ministry before a few slots were given, said Gopinath.
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