Staff Reporter

Offers flexible ticketing system

Airline operates daily flights between Karipur and BangaloreIt says its competition is not with other airlines, but with train and luxury bus servicesSells its tickets through Internet and agencies

MALAPPURAM: Domestic budget airline Air Deccan began operations from the Calicut Airport at Karipur.

Without any publicity, the maiden flight of Air Deccan landed at Karipur on February 1. The no-frill airline operates daily flights between Karipur and Bangalore in the evenings.

The flight from Bangalore (DN147) arrives at Karipur at 4.10 a.m. and the return flight (DN148) takes off from Calicut Airport at 4.30 p.m.

The airline has pressed its 48-seater ATR-42 plane on the sector.

Air Deccan claims that its competition is not with other airlines, but with train and luxury bus services. Though not advertised, the budget airline's Karipur-Bangalore service has begun to attract passengers who depended solely on bus services at night.

The airline sells its tickets through the Internet and agencies. Air Deccan has introduced dynamic or variable fare on this route.

A ticket from Karipur to Bangalore costs Rs.1,800 on an average. Depending on the load and advance booking, the price can vary.

The lowest, according to airline officials, will be Rs.500 and taxes.

According to airport officials, the airline operates with an average load of less than 30 passengers.

On Wednesday, the Air Deccan flight took off from Karipur with less than 20 passengers on board.

Airline sources said the passenger response was too early to judge, especially after a launch without publicity or advertisement.

They said the airline offered flexible ticketing system for the 55-minute air journey from Kozhikode to Bangalore.

Tickets can be rescheduled four hours before the journey by paying a fee of Rs.200. Tickets can be cancelled with 10 per cent charges at least 72 hours before the journey.

Air Deccan has not opened any office in Kozhikode or Malappuram.

Its flight and passenger handling at the airport is done by ADB Tours and Travels.

Currently, Air Deccan is the sole operator on the Karipur-Bangalore sector.

Though Indian had operated flights on the sector, it stopped the service citing technical reasons.