Deccan spreads wings, seeks international flights
Low cost carrier Deccan Aviation, now a unit of Vijay Mallya's UB Group, has sought government’s permission to start operations on overseas routes including the United States, Britain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Nepal and Saudi Arabia from August this year.
Air Deccan will operate on the low-cost model on the short haul overseas routes while its major stakeholder, the UB Group, which controls Kingfisher Air, will operate as a full service carrier on the long haul routes to the United States and England as and when it gets necessary government approval.
Deccan has sought an “in principle” approval to fly to these destinations in order to start the process of investment and commence preparations for overseas destinations, its managing director, G R Gopinath told Hindustan Times on Saturday.
As per government rules any domestic carrier keen on overseas operations has to do a mandatory five-year stint in the domestic sector before being allowed to start overseas operations.
Air Deccan will complete five years of flying in the domestic sector by August 2008.
“We will complete five years of domestic operations by August and have sought permission to fly overseas,” Gopinath said.
In a letter to the Ministry of Civil the airline said, “ Deccan Aviation Limited will complete five years of commercial operations by 26 August, 2008. As per the present civil aviation policy, the company becomes eligible to commence international operations. By this time our fleet would also be enhanced to 25 Airbus and 24 ATRs – a total fleet of 49 aircraft.”
Deccan has sought permission to fly out to the Gulf countries from different states in southern India. It also plans to start its operations to San Francisco and New York from Bangalore and launch a flight from Mumbai and New York. In addition it has sought permission to fly to London from Mumbai and Bangalore.