After RIL in cargo,Gopinath partners Tatas for charter airline

After RIL in cargo,Gopinath partners Tatas for charter airline

The two deals with two of the country's largest business houses have come in less than four months for Gopinath, who had founded the country's first budget airline Air Deccan that he later sold to the Vijay Mallya-run Kingfisher Airlines.

Captain GR Gopinath first dallied with the aviation space through a private sector commercial helicopter service, Deccan Aviation, in the late 1990s, which he followed with the launch of Air Deccan in 2003.

After selling Air Deccan in 2007 to Kingfisher Airlines, Gopinath started a cargo airline, Deccan 360, and in April 2010 roped in RIL as a "strategic investor".
Now, the Ratan Tata-led Tata Steel has entered into an agreement with Gopinath-founded another firm Deccan Charters to run three daily charter flights between Jamshedpur and Kolkata.

Among other general aviation services, Deccan Charters offers aircraft maintenance, charter services and management.
Deccan Charters would start its services next week with daily non-scheduled flights service between Kolkata and Jamshedpur, where Tata Steel has its main plant.
Commenting on the deal with Tata Steel, Deccan Charters chairman Gopinath said, "this is another first from Deccan. Over the years, Deccan has made breakthrough innovations that have redefined the paradigms of the aviation industry in our country. "These innovations have been fueled by the vision of making aspirations of the common man a reality and fostering all-inclusive growth of the country,” he added.
Earlier in April after the RIL deal, Gopinath had said that the "growth capital" provided by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries would help Deccan 360 increase its air and surface network coverage across the country.

Deccan 360 has an employee strength of 300, while it has a network of 60 franchises with an additional workforce of 1,500. Deccan 360 is already present in 50 cities and would expand to 100 cities in the next 12-18 month, Gopinath had said after the RIL deal.

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