Many moons ago, in 2003 to be precise, Captain Gopinath brought low cost flying to India. In this version, everyone had a secular chance of flying on the cheap, with INR 1 + taxes tickets going thick and fast. I remember being in Chennai and seeing massive queues for those 1 INR tickets. I also remember buying one of those once or twice and acting like gate lice, trying to get the best seat possible given there was no seat reservation with Air Deccan. Over the years, the airline got folded up into Kingfisher Airlines, and the rest was history.
Now, Capt. Gopinath is back with another attempt at aviation. He is launching Air Deccan again, but with a different business model. This time around, smaller 19-seater Beech 1900 D planes, for smaller between Metro and non-Metro airports under Government of India’s UDAN scheme.
The new Air Deccan won the right to operate flights between several airports, with a fixed number of seats to be offered under INR 2500 for an hour of flying. With the scheme, the government hopes to have more aviation bases covered in the country. But not just that, some people will also get the INR 1 fares just like the earlier days.
In the new avatar, the airline states they will operate bases from four airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Shillong, connecting them with smaller cities around. The first Air Deccan flight will take off on December 22 and fly to Mumbai from Nashik.
Subsequently, there will be daily return flights between Mumbai/Nashik, Mumbai/Jalgaon and Nashik/Pune. From Delhi, there will be flights to Agra, Shimla, Ludhiana, Pantnagar, Dehradun and Kullu, as per the airline.
The return of the brand will also mean the famous common man logo designed by RK Laxman will return on the aircraft. The new website is www.airdeccan.co.in and here is how it looks this morning.
Here is hoping, this time around, they are here to stay.