Friday, April 24, 2020

India’s Air Deccan eyes post-crisis relaunch with new aircraft

Air Deccan is in talks with an aircraft manufacturer as the Indian carrier prepares to restart operations once the coroanvirus crisis stabilises, chief executive Arun Kumar Singh has disclosed.

The carrier is in the process of returning its two 18-year-old Beechcraft Beech 1900Ds to their lessor, having already served notice of lease termination, Singh tells Cirium. He declined to name the lessor.
Singh adds the lockdown has made it difficult to return the aircraft.

The airline’s Beechcrafts – which, according to Cirium fleets data, formerly flew with a now-defunct subsidiary of Air New Zealand – are described by Singh as “very old and very tired ”.

“We have taken this as an opportunity for newer aircraft,” he adds. “We are talking to an OEM, but nothing has been signed yet so I can’t disclose anything.”

Pressed on whether he is talking to Airbus or Boeing, Singh says he is not talking with either of them, and that the type he is looking at is a “smaller commuter aircraft”.

On 5 April, Air Deccan – which has history dating back to 2003, and was once a part of ill-fated Kingfisher Airlines – announced that it was suspending operations until further notice. It was the first Indian carrier to cease operations amid the coronavirus pandemic. All employees were put on “sabbatical” without pay, though Singh says they will be given “right of first refusal” to rejoin the company once it starts operations again.
24/04/20 Cirium/Flight Global
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