Bangalore-based regional scheduled airline Air Pegasus is looking at commencing operations by the middle of next month...
Bangalore-based regional scheduled airline Air Pegasus is looking at commencing operations by the middle of next month with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) granting it an air operator’s permit (AOP) on Tuesday.
Pegasus will be the third new airline to take to Indian skies in the last one year. While Tata Sons’ low-cost venture with AirAsia Berhad AirAsia India started services in June 2014, Vistara launched operations on January 9 this year.
Shyson Thomas, managing director, Air Pegasus Private Limited, said, “We received the flying permit from DGCA today. At present, we have two ATRs, one more is scheduled to come in from Ireland-based leasing firm Elix Aviation in the first week of April. We will start services in 6-8 sectors in the next two weeks.” Based out of the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, Air Pegasus will initially offer flights to Thiruvananthapuram and Hubli. Services will be scaled up gradually to connect Kochi, Chennai, Tuticorin, Belgaum and Rajahmundry.
The new airline, promoted by ground-handling services provider Decor Aviation, will see an initial investment of Rs 100 crore. Decor Aviation, which is part of the Decor Group of Companies, provides ground handling services to Indian and foreign carriers across 11 airports in India.
Thomson added, “Resources are not an issue. What we are aiming at is consistency be it in services we provide or the way we expand. We will add two more aircraft by the end of this year and two aircraft every year thereafter.” The airline plans to have single aircraft-type operations to streamline maintenance and manpower costs. The airline is targeting turnaround time of 20 minutes and is looking at utilising its aircraft 9-10 hours on a daily basis.
Air Pegasus received a no-objection certificate from the civil aviation ministry in 2012 but its plans were held up over difficulties in getting aircraft on lease following the shutdown of Kingfisher Airlines.
As many as 20 companies have applied to the ministry of civil aviation for no-objection certificate (NOC) since 2009. Of these, 16 companies managed to secure NOCs. However, only three airlines — Air Costa, AirAsia India and Vistara — have managed to start operations.
Decor Aviation is taking a fresh bet by launching a regional airline Air Pegasus at a time when most existing domestic carriers continue to bleed and remain mired in debt. In the last financial year, Jet Airways and SpiceJet, the two carriers listed on the stock market, reported record losses of Rs 4,130 crore and Rs 1,003 crore, respectively.