Air Costa to apply for pan-India licence

Air Costa, the latest Indian regional airline to take to the skies plans to apply for a pan-India licence in the next 6-8 months to take on the likes of IndiGo, SpiceJet and the soon-to-start AirAsia India in an industry which is marked by aggressive expansion and constant losses. Under the current licence, the Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh-based airline can’t fly to metros outside the southern region, its CEO KN Babu told ET.

The airline operated its inaugural flight on Monday to Hyderabad from Vijaywada. It plans to start commercial flights from Tuesday and will operates 12 flights to six Indian cities — Chennai, Bangalore , Ahmedabad and Jaipur, Hyderabad and Vijaywada. Costa means the outer edge of a wing, which is where the airline derives its name from, said its head of commnications K Vinay.

Babu said the airline has started with two 80-seater Embraer 170 jets and will induct eight 112-seater Embraer 190 planes by the end of 2014, making its fleetsize 10. It plans to increase its number of daily flights to more than 60 by then. Air Costa plans to increase its fleetsize to 25 planes by 2018, said CT Chowdary, director finance at its parent LEPL Projects. The airline is starting with an investment of Rs 150 crore and aims to invest $100 million more in the next 2 years. Chowdary said the company will raise the money through internal accruals and from close associates of the group.

Full report here Economic Times


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