Amidst the bloodbath that Indian aviation has become, with almost all the major carriers losing money being up in the air, there is another airline queuing up for launch shortly. This one is called Air Pegasus, and it intends to be a regional Low Cost Carrier, only operating in South India, connecting Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchchirappalli, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Hubli, Mangalore and Goa sectors.
According to a story that broke on the Indian Express, the Government of India has already sanctioned to give away a No Objection Certificate to the airline operator, and subsequently, the airline will need to get its aircraft in place. After putting all the processes in place, the airline needs to go for a formal approval from the DGCA, and then it will be good to go. The airline intends to do 26 sectors daily, using the Bombardier Q400 and ATR72-500 planes.
The airline-to-be has emphasized that it will limit fares between INR 2,000 and INR 3,000 all-in, which comes to 40-60$ pricing for these short hauls. Now, at this price, it is clearly trying to take a slice of the high-end travellers who do overnights on the big bus network that operates down South of India. Time is money or not, I don’t know yet if these travellers believe in the notion. However, one got to keep in mind that the buses operate from bus depots in central locations in the cities, while airports are further out which makes the time still maybe a good 4-6 hours (time to get to the airport+1-1.5 hours at the airport+flying time+arrival time).
While there have been other regional airlines in India in the past (read Paramount Airways), they have gone down the hall of doom with high operating costs, no focus on their chosen niche and wanting to do everything. As a result of financial mismanagement, they ended up having to ground since they did not have the money to pay for their plane’s lease.
Also, there are certain national LCCs, such as SpiceJet trying to get a piece of the action in the regional LCC space by deploying the Q400s on these regional routes.
So, all in all, I am not too sure if this will be a hit, but then, the concept is good, and the doomsayers have always had a way about negating before something took off. So, all the best, Pegasus!