Air Deccans low-cost image may soon vanish, say aviation experts

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai, Apr 14 | Updated: Apr 16 2008, 03:42am hrs
While speculations abound on whether Simplify Deccan will be run as a separate entity by Kingfisher Airlines, aviation analysts opine that the low-cost image of the carrier (Deccan) will be likely to be phased out by Kingfisher Airlines. Analysts also said that ever since Kingfisher Airlines has acquired a higher stake in Deccan, chances are that the low-cost carrier might be deployed on high-density metro routes while Kingfisher Airlines will take to long-haul routes.

A Mumbai-based analyst told FE, Recently, all the broking firms were given a notice by Simplify Deccan stating that the airline woulbe be operated under the Kingfisher Airlines brand. Also, the DGCA (directorate general of civil aviation) has specified that both the airlines cannot get separate licences to fly overseas. So naturally, the Kingfisher-Deccan combine will get only one licence. The analyst added that only the chartered-service business of Deccan will not be merged, as per a notice. Another analyst added that both entities will be merged and the arrangement will be somewhat like that between Jet Airways and JetLite, wherein the airfares for the latter will be slightly lesser then Jet. Kingfisher is ready to get linked to all major international routes connecting India through Simplify Deccan which will complete five years in August. The airlines cannot afford to sustain low fares even after it starts adding frills, he said.

The analyst pointed out that Deccans core team from engineering, sales and marketing report to the top brass at Kingfisher Airlines. No low-cost airline including Deccan has been able to make profits given the current scenario wherein fuel prices are sky-rocketing. The low-cost image in most likelihood, has to die to make up at least for operating costs, he said.