Friday, June 16, 2006

NRI aviator plans US-India airline

New Delhi: An America-based entrepreneur is all set to join the burgeoning list of wannabe Indian aviators. But this former pilot-cum-hotelier plans to go a step further and float an international low-fare airline that would mark its debut with direct flights between US and India.
Rahul Puranik backed by equity investors from America and UK has sought the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) nod to set up this new airline venture, christened Sapphire Airways. "It will be a venture with $100 million start-up equity capital.
We are working with FAA for the venture and hope to get all the clearances within the next six to eight months," Puranik, founder and chairman of Sapphire Airways, told ToI from US.
The airline, he said, intends to use the Indo-US Open Sky arrangement to start direct flights between India and America within the next 15-18 months.
15/06/06 Byas Anand/Times of India
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