South Indian regional carrier Turbo Megha Airways got its air operator permit on Tuesday, said officials at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
South Indian regional carrier Turbo Megha Airways got its air operator permit on Tuesday, said officials at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The carrier had received its no-objection certificate (NOC) in July, 2014, and was waiting to get its permit from the regulator to start operations. “A regional airline permit has been issued to Turbo Megha, which is a south India-based airline with ATR aircraft,” said DGCA officials.
The airline is expected to start its operations in the next couple of months. Earlier, it had said that it would start operations in July under the brand TruJet.
The carrier is an aviation start-up headquartered in Hyderabad and promoted by Umesh Vankayalapati. Telugu actor Ram Charan Tej, who is the son of actor turned politician K Chiranjeevi, is the other promoter.
Turbo Megha is one of the 11 regional carriers to have got NOCs along with Air Pegasus, Air Costa, ABC Aviation and Air Carnival, who have shown their interest to operate as regional carriers in South. Air Pegasus and Air Costa have already started operations and Turbo Megha will be the third.
The airlines has already placed an order of three 72-seater ATR aircraft, one of which is already in its possession. Vankayalapati had said earlier that his airlines will invest between R60 and R70 crore. According to sources, the company has planned to start operations in 18 tier-II towns, which includes Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Hubli and Coimbatore — Hyderabad being the centre of its operations.
Experts said that the start of a third regional airline might start a price war, but Vankayalapati thinks otherwise. He had said earlier that his airlines will focus on better on-board services and might price the tickets a little higher than its competitors. He also expects to reach break-even faster, as unlike larger carriers, Turbo Megha will have smaller planes with lower investments.
Turbo Megha manufactured ground support equipment in collaboration with Air Deccan. And since then it has been providing ground handling services to low-cost, no frills carrier SpiceJet.