Saturday, August 18, 2012

NEWS | Captain GR Gopinath to launch regional airline in Gujarat -'Deccan Shuttle'

 Captain GR Gopinath, the man who gave us air travel on a platter, will return to the aviation business for a third time by launching a regional airline in Gujarat on Monday. The airline, Deccan Shuttle, will start 12 flights a day between nine cities such as Ahmedabad, Surat, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Kandla with five 12-seater Grand Caravans. All these cities are connected to Mumbai by air, but have no services between them, he told ETon Saturday. Gopinath's latest venture coincides with a series of launches of small and regional airlines in India. Air Mantra, a unit of financial services conglomerate Religare Group, has started daily flights connecting Amritsar and Chandigarh in July. Air Pegasus, promoted by Shyson Thomas of Decor Aviation, an airport ground-handling agency, is looking to become south India's first regional airline in October.

RAHI Aviation Inspired Realities (RAir), an offshoot of RAHI Aviation Holdings, a Bangalore-based aviation infrastructure and allied air services company, aims to begin services early next year. Spirit Air, which, provides service to Jamshedpur and Ranchi from Kolkata, plans to reach out to tourist destinations such as Gaya and Kushnagar later this year.

Waiting in the wings are Karina Airlines, Volk Air, Air Freedom and Akashganga Airlines, among others. Non-resident Indians in the Gulf are about to resurrect plans to launch a carrier called Air Kerala that will connect the state to the Middle-East.


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