Almost a decade after bidding the Indian aviation market goodbye, Air Deccan (DN) is now back in business with scheduled commercial flights. Air Deccan was India’s first low cost carrier, until 2008 when the airline ceased its operations. DN has relaunched its operations with service from Mumbai to Jalgaon (a small village in India) under the regional air connectivity scheme (UDAN). The carrier has leased a Beechcraft 1900D, a twin-engine fixed-wing aircraft with seating capacity of 18 passengers. The aircraft is registered VT-DND and features a special livery of the “UDAN” scheme and R.K Laxman’s cartoon character named “the common man”.

The maiden flight (DN 1320) took off at around 1500hrs (IST) from Mumbai on 25th of December 2017 for its flight to Jalgaon, about 410 km to the northeast of the Maharashtra capital – Mumbai.

“We have received the regulatory authority’s (DGCA’s) approval and would commence our operations on Saturday from Mumbai to Jalgaon,” the airline’s founder Captain G.R. Gopinath said. A few DGCA officials were on board the inaugural flight, which took off from Mumbai with a delay of about 2hrs.

“It’s a sense of great beginning. A sense of being fortunate that Air Deccan is taking off again,” Capt. Gopinath said. Air Deccan plans to provide connectivity to Jalgaon, Nashik and Kolhapur from Mumbai and Pune.

Air Deccan’s (DN) last flight was back in the year 2008, before DN merged with Kingfisher Airlines. There were 45 aircraft in the DN fleet, which included A320s and ATRs. Air Deccan had a wide operating network across India, with 70 destinations, DN had a strong hold in the market.
“There was a dream of taking flying to every possible corner of the country” which did not come to true because of Air Deccan’s merger with Kingfisher Airlines. “Now I have the opportunity to relaunch operations across the country,” said Captain Gopinath.
On this special occasion, Ozar Airport was also inaugurated when this flight continued to Nashik after completing the Mumbai – Jalgoan sector. The aircraft will then fly to Pune later where it will be parked overnight and resume operations. DN has pegged fares at Rs2,250 (USD33) for 50% of the seats, to be operated under the regional connectivity scheme, while the ticket price for the remaining nine will be Rs4,500(USD 66) per seat. By February 2018, DN plans to station a second aircraft in Delhi to connect the city with Agra, Shimla, Ludhiana, Pantnagar, Dehradun and Kullu whilst adding 4 more aircraft to the fleet.
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Categories: Industry Talk

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