Air Costa's commercial ops from Dasara
The first ever regional airline Air Costa headquartered in Vijayawada in coastal Andhra Pradesh will begin commercial operations from October 14, top company officials said on Friday.
Air Costa will initially connect Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmadabad and Jaipur and later spread its wings to Madurai, Visakhapatnam, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram and Mysore.
The airline is planning to invest over $100 million during the next two years.
Ramesh Lingamneni, managing director of LEPL, promoters of Air Costa, addressing reporters in Hyderabad on Tuesday said the airlines has received an air operator permit from the DGCA and will operate two Embraer-170 jets initially due to lack of hangar space at the Gannavaram Airport at Vijayawada. Two more E-190 jets will enter service by November this year.
“Our fleet is expected to rise to 25 aircrafts by 2018. Our aim is to provide air linkage to metros from two tier and three tier cities of the country, in the comfortable quieter cabin of a jet unlike a turboprop aircraft,” Ramesh said.
Air Costa has chosen Embraer E-Jets for their efficiency and reliability, Ramesh said. “Our plan is to link underserved markets in India with more direct flights,” Air Costa CEO Captain Babu said.
“The E170 and E190 jets are ideal both in size and range. We can add frequencies and routes without adding too much capacity, thus serving places with seasonal demand, as well as key secondary and tertiary business centres,” he said.
Air Costa will offer a flexi-fare system through the company website and round-the-clock call centre services. Tickets can also be booked through travel agents.
The regional airline is also planning to launch a mobile booking application shortly. The airline will have a dedicated engineering complex at the Gannavaram domestic airport for Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) operations.