Air Deccan to serve Mysuru from Feb

Indian low-cost airline pioneer Air Deccan - which would be taking to the sky again in the coming days - would be commencing service to its Karnataka routes from February 2018, with a flight between Chennai and Mysuru.

Sharing the rejuvenated airline's plans with DH, Air Deccan Promoter Capt G R Gopinath said, "We will be commencing our Chennai-Mysuru flight in February. There onwards, we would also be starting flights on the Kadapa-Bengaluru and Salem-Bengaluru routes."

The airline, which got a new lease of life under the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), would operate its first flight between Mumbai and Nashik, which will take off on December 23, 2017, followed by a Mumbai-Jalgaon flight.

Air Deccan has signed a strategic agreement with another low-cost regional carrier Air Odisha, by which it will be taking care of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for both carriers, which would help bring down costs.

"Of the 136 routes under UDAN, we bid for and received 84 routes across the country. Air Odisha would be operating on 50 routes, serving destinations in the East and West. We would operate on routes in the North and South of the country," Gopinath said.

Air Deccan is taking on lease 12 Raytheon-made Beech 1900D aircraft, of which four planes are in place. The remaining planes will join the fleet over the next few months.

Of these 19-seater twin engine turboprop planes, the airline can set higher pricing on nine seats, as per UDAN rules. As an introductory offer, few passengers would also be lucky enough to avail tickets for Re 1. UDAN fares, however, are priced from Rs 1,420.

The airline, which Gopinath founded in 2003, merged with Vijay Mallya's erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, which itself grounded in 2012, owing to financial difficulties.

He mentioned about a sort of hub-and-spoke model which is being looked at wherein, theairline would eye six major regional hubs namely, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad, from where surrounding regional destinations can be served. "We would be serving many destinations such as Pune, Kohlapur, Sholapur, Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Durgapur, Bagdogra, Cooch Behar, Shillong, and Shimla, among others. We are starting routes from Delhi and Kolkata, while Gujarat will be from February," Gopinathan said.

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