Regionals Update: Air Deccan launches ATR 42 service

 - August 11, 2008, 9:29 AM

India’s Air Deccan operated its inaugural revenue flight with one of six 48-seat ATR 42-320s on August 25, between its home city of Bangalore and Hubli, in the southwestern province of Karnataka. A second flight marked the start of regular service between the regional cities of Hyderabad and Vijayawada the next day. The new airline took delivery of its first leased ATR on August 8. The second arrived in Bangalore two weeks later.

Awaiting delivery of its second pair of Franco-Italian turboprops this month, Air Deccan plans to fly to 24 destinations, following a low-fare model built on the promise of government support such as 25- to 40-percent fuel discounts. The state government has also promised to encourage air travel by officials and to provide basic infrastructure improvements, such as night-landing capability at Hubli and Belgaum.

Present for the first airplane handover ceremony in Toulouse, France, Air Deccan vice chairman S.N. Ladhani also owns India’s largest soft-drink bottling company. In keeping with his company’s entrepreneurial bent, the airline sells advertising space on its airplanes’ fuselages–the first taken by Sun Microsystems–while only the tails bear the carrier’s logo.