Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Surya Airlines to start operations from October

Kolkata: The country will soon see the launch of its first 19-seater private airline. Surya Airlines, promoted by Kerala-based Universal Empire group, will start operations from mid-October, 2006.
Surya Airlines will connect Guwahati with almost all the cities in the north-east barring Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh as the respective capitals of the two states — Gangtok and Itanagar — do not have airports. However, Lilabari’s airport in Assam, situated close to Itanagar, will help serve Arunachal as well.
Singapore-based Suntech Corp has picked up a 49% stake, while Buddha Airlines of Nepal has inked a tech collaboration deal for the project. The total investment in the new carrier will be Rs 350 crore. Plans are on the anvil to purchase 10 aircraft, the cost of each being $50 million. Universal Empire will take the aircraft from Raytheon on lease purchase, with 5-6% interest.
04/07/06 Madhumita Mookerji/Daily News & Analysis
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