Saturday, December 23, 2017

Air Deccan flies to Maharashtra towns under Udan

Mumbai:  India's first low-cost carrier Air Deccan took to the skies again on Saturday after nearly a decade, connecting Mumbai with Jalgaon in northern Maharashtra under the 'Udan' regional connectivity scheme.

The maiden flight DN 181 took off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here to Jalgaon, about 410 km to the northeast of the Maharashtra capital, an Air Deccan official said.

The airline's first flight, which was supposed to take off at 12 noon was delayed and it departed only at 2.35 p.m., an airport official told IANS.

This was the airline's first flight after 2008, when it ceased operations post its merger with the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

As per the airline's schedule, it is to also fly from Nashik to Pune on Saturday evening.

Air Deccan, owned by Bengaluru-based aviation company Deccan Charters, had won a bid to operate on 34 regional routes under the central government's Udan scheme, which aims to make travel affordable and widespread in all regions of the country.

The company will currently fly daily (except Mondays) between Mumbai and Jalgaon, Pune and Nashik, and Mumbai and Nashik.

The airline has employed Beechcraft 1900D, an 18-passenger (with an additional crew member) twin-engine fixed-wing aircraft for operating in the regional routes.

A ticket for a 90-minute Mumbai-Jalgaon flight is priced at Rs 2,250 inclusive of taxes for 50 per cent of the seats, while for the remaining seats it would vary in line with the market pricing.

The airline aims to "revolutionise" air travel in India by connecting cities that weren't accessible by air before, with price points that allow even a common man to fly.

The airline's founder Captain G.R. Gopinath had told IANS earlier that they have received the Directorate General of Civil Aviation approval and would commence operations with the Mumbai-Jalgaon flight.
23/12/17 IANS/Hans India