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Air Deccan heads for new beginning

The airline is morphing into a semi-luxurious value-based airline, reports Lalatendu Mishra.
Hindustan Times | By Lalatendu Mishra, Mumbai
UPDATED ON OCT 04, 2007 10:39 PM IST

This could be the end of cheap air travel. Air Deccan, which pioneered the concept, is morphing into a semi-luxurious value-based airline. But the airline insists that it will continue to offer affordable fares.

In the days ahead, travelers will be treated with a far superior experience though they may have to shell out a little more to fly in luxury. This is in contrast to the brash behaviour of outsourced airport staff, lost baggage, constant flight delays and cancellations that Air Deccan was known for.

Over the last four months, since the UB Group acquired a 26 per cent stake, Air Deccan has been undergoing a branding exercise to improve its image. Details of the rebranding will be announced by executive chairman Captain GR Gopinath and vice-chairman Vijay Mallya in mid-October.

Consultancy firm Accenture has been hired for route rationalization and to bring in synergies with Kingfisher Airlines, Mallya's other airline.

"In the new brand positioning, the focus will be on enhanced customer service and on redefining the quality of experience by measuring service and product quality. We are looking at complete brand transformation across the 65 airports that Air Deccan operates out of," said a senior Air Deccan executive asking not to be named.

Air Deccan aircraft is getting a vibrant youthful look with new livery and refurbished interiors. The ticketing and check-in counters and staff uniforms will also change to match that of Kingfisher Airlines.

Air Deccan's first refurbished Airbus A320 aircraft has arrived in India and its other 42 aircraft will undergo similar changes in the next four months.

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