Zoom Air likely to restart operations in January

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New Delhi | Published: December 29, 2018 5:19:59 AM

Gurgaon-based Zoom Air, which has been grounded since July, is likely to restart operations from next month after the aviation regulator renewed the carrier’s flying permit which had been held back over safety concerns.

Zoom Air recorded around 77% passenger load factor on its 50-seater CRJ200 aircraft during 2018 before it was grounded.

Gurgaon-based Zoom Air, which has been grounded since July, is likely to restart operations from next month after the aviation regulator renewed the carrier’s flying permit which had been held back over safety concerns.

A senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said the airline had been asked to send a revised operating schedule. Zoom Air, which connects towns like Tezpur, Jorhat, Jabalpur to Kolkata, could not operate a single flight in the past six months due to financial and operational challenges. Its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) was renewed earlier this week.

“There were concerns regarding aircraft management systems that we looked into. The airline has passed the safety audit requirements which allow them to re-start operations,” the DGCA official told FE.

Zoom Air recorded around 77% passenger load factor (PLF) on its 50-seater, CRJ200 aircraft, during 2018 before it was grounded. The airline, at the beginning of the year, had announced plans to raise Rs 100 crore to extensively connect northeast under the government’s regional connectivity scheme — Udan.

Koustav Dhar, managing director and chief executive, said the airline was in talks with new investors to raise capital which could be finalised by mid-January.

“We will start operations from January 15 on the Kolkata-Tezpur sector which is an Udan route. We plan to add five CRJ900 aircraft after the new set of investors coming on board.”

Meanwhile, the winter schedule of regional carriers, Air Odisha and Air Deccan, have been put on hold by the DGCA for failing to furnish action-taken report on issues raised by it. According to monthly passenger data, Air Odisha and Air Deccan haven’t operated a single flight from October and November, respectively. Both the carriers have been facing financial difficulties for some time now and the ministry of civil aviation recently revoked majority of their licences won under the Udan scheme.

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