BENGALURU-BASED Air Pegasus will begin flights in March as the latest LCC to ply Indian skies.
The carrier will fly 25 routes daily to domestic destinations including Hyderabad, Chennai and Goa. Currently possessing three 72-seat ATR turboprop aircraft, it will expand its fleet to six by 4Q2014.
Shyson Thomas, chairman and mananging director, said: “We hope to offer fares lower by about Rs1,000 (US$16) compared to our competitors in all the sectors we fly. We will also create hubs in Kolkata and Ahmedabad soon.”
Air Pegasus also intends to run flights on the Thiruvananthapuram-Malé and Kolkata-Dhaka routes, should India abolish the requirement of airlines to have been in operation for five years and own 20 aircraft for launching international services, said Thomas.
Anil Punjabi, chairman-east, Travel Agents Federation of India, said: “More flights will cover more destinations and the increased competition (and lower fares) will benefit travellers. However, the government should rationalise aviation fuel taxes and airport charges to allow carriers to sustain profits.”
Another LCC, Hyderabad-based Air Costa, began operations in October 2013 to destinations in south India. AirAsia India and Tata-SIA Airlines are scheduled for take-off in May 2014 and 1Q2015 respectively (TTG Asia e-Daily, November 13, 2013).