Tamil Nadu

Air Carnival to start flying from July 18

Coimbatore-based Air Carnival has become the fourth regional airline of the country. The airline, which secured its air operator’s permit last week, will initially fly daily to and from three Tamil Nadu airports at Coimbatore, Chennai and Madurai beginning July 18.

“We got a regional scheduled operation permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on July 4. We will start operations from 18{+t}{+h}July on four sectors: Coimbatore-Chennai, Chennai-Madurai, Madurai-Chennai and Chennai-Coimbatore initially,” Air Carnival chief executive officer Manish Kumar Singh told The Hindu over telephone.

The first flight from Coimbatore to Chennai next Monday will depart at 6:55 a.m., offering a base fare of Re. 1 and an all-inclusive fare of around Rs. 800-Rs. 1,000, airline executives said.

First airline

Air Carnival will become the first regional airline offering fares inclusive of in-flight entertainment and food, Mr. Singh said.

The airline will compete with other southern region players such as TruJet and Air Pegasus which have three aircraft each and Air Costa with four planes.

To start with, the airline will deploy one 72-seater aircraft (ATR 72-500) with four flights daily on the Coimbatore-Chennai-Madurai sector, and in the next 15 days, will increase the daily frequency to 10, Mr. Singh said.

After inducting two more 72-seater planes in September, the airline will spread its wings to other places such as Tirupati, Hubli, Vishakhapatnam, Rajahmundry and Mangalore, the CEO added.

“We are going to focus primarily on the southern market for now. Once we get more aircraft, we will invest heavily and expand. Southern India has been a very attractive market for all domestic airlines – many of which are based out of here,” Mr. Singh said.

Rejoicing

The airline has been buoyed by low aviation turbine fuel costs and higher seat occupancy. “The passenger growth is robust, fuel prices have come down and airlines are witnessing occupancy of 85 per cent on an average; so I am confident that the venture will be successful,” said SI Nathan, who is the Chairman of Air Carnival and founder and director of the CMC Group, which is also the promoter of the company. The promoters are infusing around Rs. 50 crore, Mr. Nathan added.

As per the latest traffic data, three regional airlines – Air Costa, Air Pegasus and TruJet – carried 1.27 lakh passengers in May, capturing an overall market share of 1.4 per cent.

Around 82 per cent of the seats on these airlines were filled in May.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 7:13:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Air-Carnival-to-start-flying-from-July-18/article14484615.ece

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