Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Air Deccan started operations in August 2003 with regular scheduled flights from Bangalore to Mangalore and Hubli. In September 2003, it started a second hub at Hyderabad, though its inaugural flight from the city to Vijayawada with a number of celebrities aboard had to be cancelled when one of the plane's engines caught fire while taxiing for take-off.
It was the first private Indian operator to fly Airbus aircraft in July 2004 when it received the first of 5 leased Airbus A320s. It was the first airline in India to link second rung cities like Coimbatore, Hubli, Madurai, Vizag to the metros and main cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad.
The Air Deccan fleet consists of the following aircraft (at March 2005):
Another 2 A320s are due for delivery in September 2005. Air Deccan will acquire a further 30 Airbus A320s with deliveries starting in 2007. They also intend to acquire 30 new ATR 72-500 aircraft (half to be leased), along with 3 second hand ATR 42-500s and 3 second hand ATR 72-500s. Deliveries will begin in May 2005 and be spread over a five year period with 6 to 8 aircraft delivered each year (ref: Airliner World, March 2005).
Growth and Expansion
It seems to be on a high growth trajectory, being at the right time in the right niche. The Indian economy is growing at a rapid pace and the burgeoning middle-class is loking to graduate to air-travel from bus or train travel.
Other players are jumping in fast into the low-cost carrier business, like Kingfisher Airlines (from UB Group) and Indian Airlines launching a low-cost sister concern. So, there will a lot of action in this space. But with the country being severely under-penetrated, there is a lot of scope for growth for all players, in the 3-5 year term. Apart from the low-cost carriers, Air Deccan is in stiff competition with mainstream carries like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara for the main trunk-routes in the country.
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