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Airlines

Name: KINGFISHER RED
7JetSet7 Code: DCC
Status: Currently Not Operational
Region: ORIENT
City: BANGALORE
Country: INDIA
Employees 200
Web: airdeccan.net
Email: info@airdeccan.net
Telephone: +91 80 51148190
Fax: +91 80 51235820
Sita:
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(definitions)

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Established in 1995. Started operations as Deccan Aviation, with helicopter and fixed wing charter services. Later in 2003, moved into low-cost scheduled operations and changed name to Air Deccan (DCC). In August 2008, it was re-branded as "Kingfisher Red." Scheduled & charter, domestic, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.

Address:
214/33, 7th Cross
Vasanthnagar
Bangalore 560052, India

Address:
Jakkur Aerodrome
Bellary Road
Bangalore 560064, India

INDIA (REPUBLIC OF INDIA) WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1947, IT COVERS AN AREA OF 3,287,590 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 970 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS NEW DELHI, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ARE HINDI AND ENGLISH.

August 2003: Captain Gorur Ramaswamy Gopinath pioneered the first Low Cost Carrier (LCC) in India with launch of Bangalore to Mangalore and Hubli.

January 2004: Plans to sell an additional 20% shareholding (for a total of 35%) to overseas investors to raise INR 180 million/$3.95 million in order to expand its domestic network as well as add service to Bangkok, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, and the Gulf states.

February 2004: 7/2 orders (July 2004) A320'S (V2500-5), 5 SALE (SIL) leased, (932; 943; 977), ex-Qatar (QTA), 180 PAX.

April 2004: Mumbai (Bombay) - Ahmedabad, Baroda, & Kolhapur (daily).

June 2004: ATR42-300 (397, VT-ADG), ATR leased.

July 2004: 3 orders new & 5 orders used ATR42-500's for delivery before its winter schedule.

August 2004: Selected the Free2Fly concept offered by (SAS) Group Component and (EADS) Sogerma Services to support its fleet of A320's which enter service this month.

Began operations on trunk routes.

2 A320-232's (932, A7-ADX; 943, VT-ADY), ex-Qatar Airways (QTA), SALE (SIL) leased.

October 2004: Hyderabad - Goa.

December 2004: Raised $40 million by placing new shares with ICICI Venture Funds of India and US-based Capital International, but declined to say what their combined shareholding would be in the airline.

30 orders A320's. 2 ATR42-512's (510, VT-ADH; 612, VT-ADJ), deliveries.

January 2005: 30 orders (May 2005) ATR72-500s, 3 orders ATR42-500's & 3 orders ATR72-500's.

March 2005: 2 A320-232's (2366, VT-ADV; 2376, VT-ADW), SALE (SIL) leased. ATR42-500 (574), Oman Air (OMR) 2 year leased.

May 2005: 200 employees (including 18 Flight Crew (FC), 15 Cabin Attendants (CA); & 20 Maintenance Technicians (MT)).

September 2005: To start operations to Kochi (the "gateway of Southern India"), the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala, from Bangalore and Chennai using ATR72-500 airplanes.

A320-232 (2524, VT-DKZ), & ATR72-212A (718, VT-DKA), deliveries.

October 2005: Indian state-run oil companies reduced the price of aviation turbine fuel by -1.85% effective Nov 1 due to the drop in international oil prices, Newindpress reported. For domestic airlines the price per kiloliter has been cut approximately -2% to INR35,761/$792.31 in Delhi and INR36,715 in Mumbai. For international carriers the price has gone down -4% to $609 per kiloliter in Delhi and $601 in Mumbai.

GE Commercial Aviation Services (GEF) will lease two ex-US Airways (USA) A320-200's (2029; 2077), to India's Air Deccan (DCC) for delivery in January 2006. GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) today announced an agreement to lease two Airbus A320 narrow body airplanes to (DCC), one of India’s established low-cost airlines.
They are part of an early return agreement reached with US Airways (USA) in May 2005.

“We continue to redeploy airplanes with low-cost carriers in India and other regions where the demand for narrow body aircraft remains strong,” said Tejpreet S Chopra, Vice President of Marketing for (GECAS) (GEF). “Including (DCC), we lease airplanes to 27 different low-cost carriers around the world, making it one of the fastest-growing segments of our business.” Captain G R Gopinath, Managing Director (DCC), said, “The two A320s will take our fleet size up to 22. Procurement of these two airplanes will enable us to fast-forward our expansion plans with increased penetration in the domestic Metro network.” In addition to leased airplanes, (GECAS) (GEF) provides commercial pilot (FC) training to (DCC) through its GE Commercial Aviation Training (GECAT) unit. (DCC) pilots (FC) are undertaking conversion training at (GECAT)’s London training centres. (GECAT) has longstanding ties to Indian carriers and has approval from the Indian (DGCA) to conduct training courses using its team of (JAA) Qualified Type Rated Instructors and Examiners.

Since its inception in August 2003, (DCC) has carried over 2 million passengers, covering 37 Destinations. They have more than 146 flights a day, with a fleet size of 5 A320’s (180 seater), 13 ATR42’s (48 seater) and 2 ATR72’s (72 seater). (DCC) is a business unit of Deccan Aviation, India’s Largest Charter Company in the private sector.

Launches daily flights to Kolkata from Mumbai and Bangalore. Hyderabad - Mumbai.

A320-232 (2564, VT-DKY), delivery.

November 2005: Air Deccan (DCC) is in the process of launching an airline in Sri Lanka. The low cost company would operate to the Gulf area, India and Singapore.

Launches daily flights from Chennai to Puttaparthi and Hyderabad to Puttaparthi. Delhi - Indore and Gwalior - Indore. Aqartali - Kolkata and Guwahati. Kolkata - Raipur, Ranchi & Silchar. Kolkata - Patna. Chennai - Trivandrum. Ahmedabad - Hyderabad.

ATR42-500 (515, VT-ADP) & ATR72-500 (721, VT-DKC), ATR leased.

December 2005: Hyderabad - Nagpur, Pune, & Goa. Srinagar to New Delhi. Now flies to 46 destinations.

Air Deccan (DCC) will inaugurate service from Chennai to Pune, Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad to Hyderabad on February 1st. Each of the routes will be served daily with an A320.

(DCC) is forming a joint venture with 2 private partners in Sri Lanka to allow it to launch international operations in the second half of 2006. As per Indian government guidelines, no Indian airline can enter international markets until it has put in 5 years of domestic operations. The Sri Lankan authorities have already approved the venture to be known as "Air Deccan Lanka". For this new venture, (DCC) will be placing more orders for A320's. Air Deccan Lanka will be a low-cost, no frills airline. It will initially operate on the Colombo - Kochi route, with flights to Singapore, Sharjah and Dubai to come later. Additionally talks between (DCC) and Airbus (EDS) for the purchase of A380's are said to be at an advanced stage. According to local reports, (DCC) plans to use the super jumbos to transfer over 500 passengers on domestic trunk routes at very low fares.

(DCC) signed to purchase +30 additional A320s for delivery starting in 2008. The deal is worth $1.5 billion at list prices. (DCC) ordered 32 A320s in January 2005. It will take delivery of eight this year, increasing its fleet to 32 airplanes. No engine choice was announced for the new batch of 180-seaters.

A320-232 (2645, VT-DKV), Boullioun (BOU) leased. ATR42-500 (445, VT-ADO), ATR leased.

February 2006: Connects Aurangabad, Trichy, Trivandrum, Calicut, & Rajkot sectors. Connects Jamnagar to Mumbai.

Air Deccan (DCC) will inaugurate service from Chennai to Ahmedabad and to Port Blair in March. The airline will use A320s on both routes. The airline is also planning new service form Kolkata to Port Blair, Nagpur and Mumbai with its next A320 delivery.

(DCC), India's first low-cost carrier, will soon make an initial public offering (IPO) to fund expansion plans and tap growth in a soaring market.

Bases an A320 in Kolkata.

A320-232 (2676, VT-DKU), Boullioun (BOU) leased.

March 2006: Air Deccan (DCC) will inaugurate nonstop service from Chennai to Tuticorin on April 1st. The airline will operate a daily flight using an ATR42. (DCC) will inaugurate direct service from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry on April 1st. (DCC) will operate a daily flight via Vijayawada using an ATR72-500.

Opens a base in Trivandrum.

April 2006: Air Deccan (DCC) is a low-cost subsidiary of Deccan Aviation operating domestic, jet airplane services mainly in southern India.

(IATA) Code: DN. (ICAO) Code: DKN (Callsign - DECCAN).

Parent organization/shareholders: Deccan Aviation (100%).

Owns: Deccan Lanka (48%).

Main Base: Bangalore airport (BLR).

Domestic, scheduled destinations: Ahmedabad; Amritsar; Aurangabad; Bagdora; Bangalore; Belgaum; Bhavnagar; Bhopal; Chandigarh; Chennai; Coimbatore; Dehra Dun; Delhi; Goa; Guwahati; Gwalior; Hubli; Hyderabad; Indore; Jabalpur; Jaipur; Jammu; Jamnagar; Kandla; Kanpur; Kochi; Kolhapur; Kolkata; Kozhikode; Lucknow; Madurai; Mangalore; Mumbai; Nagpur; Pune; Raipur; Rajkot; Srinagar; Thiruvananrhapuram; Tiruchirappalli; Tirupati; Vadodara; Vijayawada; & Vishakhapatnam.

(DCC) inaugurated nonstop service from Delhi to Mumbai. The route is operated with an A320. Will start service Hyderabad to Rajahmundhry, plus Tuticorin to Chennai and Madurai, the first flights to these cities.

A320-232 (2731, VT-DKR), (ILF) leased & 2 A320-232's (2747, VT-DKS; 2753, VT-DKT), AerCap (DEA) leased.

May 2006: Indian domestic airports recorded a near +10% increase in cargo traffic in the 12 months to March 31 over the previous corresponding period. The biggest increases were recorded at Tiruchi (up +114.8%), Patna (up +37.2%), Bangalore (up +23.6%), Delhi (up +11.2%) and Chennai (up +10.8%). International freight traffic also grew strongly, rising +11.7% to 920,150 tonnes. The biggest gains were recorded at Tiruchi (+130%), Coimbatore (+102%), Bangalore (+27.3%) and Hyderabad (+21.7%).

Deccan Aviation, parent of Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Air Deccan (DCC), struggled to attract investors for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) as India's stock market sputtered and has extended its deadline. Deccan (DCC) issued the (IPO) on May 18, the same day India's stock market plunged in what many in the country are calling an unprecedented crash. The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, known as Sensex, ended down more than -1,300 points, a -11% drop from the previous closing, sending shockwaves through the Indian economy. (DCC) told media that the crash made investors wary and is the major reason why the (IPO) was only about 11% subscribed. (DCC) hopes the (IPO) will raise more than $90 million. (DCC), which operates a fleet of A320's & ATR42s, touts itself as India's only (LCC).

2 A320-200's, Aviation Capital Group (CGP) leased. ATR72-212A (725, VT-DKD), delivery.

July 2006: Air Deccan (DCC) said its 21.2% market share in June made it India's second-largest airline, passing Indian (IND), which held a 20.8% share, according to (DCC). (DCC) operates 14 A320s and 21 ATR turboprops on 265 daily flights to 55 domestic destinations.

ATR72-212A (723, VT-DKE), delivery.

August 2006: Air Deccan (DCC) launched daily Hyderabad - Coimbatore -Cochin - Hyderabad service aboard an A320, daily Chennai - Vijayawada - Rajahmundry - Chennai flights aboard an ATR72-500, a second daily ATR72-500 Delhi - Dehradun flight, and daily A320 Bangalore - Pune and Jammu - Srinagar services. In the spring, it started flights from its new base at Trivandrum to Delhi via Chennai, and to Mumbai via Cochin aboard A320s.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) market share in India is expected to reach 70% by 2010, as full-service airlines lose 1.5 points every month. "We do not expect this rate to slow in the short term, given the profile of current fleet orders. (LCC)s could therefore control over 35% of the domestic market by the end of 2006 and pass 50% some time in [the second half of 2007]," CAPA CEO, Indian Subcontinent and Middle East, Kapil Kaul said, adding that 60 million passengers are expected to fly on Indian carriers in 2010.

Honeywell International will supply avionics and (APU)s to (DCC) for the airline's fleet of 67 A320 family airplanes. Deliveries start this year and continue through 2011. The systems include the 131-9[A] (APU) and a full avionics suite that comprises (EGPWS), (ACAS) II, (RDR)-4B weather radar, (FDR)s, and (CVR)s, Quantum Line communications and navigation system and Air Data Inertial Reference System (ADIRS).

September 2006: Air Deccan (DCC) will inaugurate nonstop service from Delhi to Kullu on October 17th. The airline will operate a daily flight.

Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) announced a Total Component Support Agreement with (DCC) covering the Indian Low Cost Carrier (LCC)'s newly arriving fleet of up to 60 A320s for a period of 10 years. Under terms of the $150 million deal, (LTK) and its Indian subsidiary, One Stop Airline Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Support, "will independently serve" the (DCC) fleet with the provision of components at the carrier's Bangalore hub. According to (LTK), the arrangement enables the airline to participate "in one of the world's largest pools for airplane components [in which] nearly 1,000 different part numbers of (LRU)s have been pre-selected."

In a statement, (DCC) COO, Warwick Brady said, "The new cooperation with (LTK) is part of our endeavor to ensure the most reliable operation and to provide inter-metro as well as regional connectivity across India. The commitment and expertise of the leading (MRO) provider globally and in India will facilitate our growth plans and strengthen our position in a tough aviation environment."

ATR delivered its 700th airplane to (DCC) at a ceremony in Toulouse. The ATR42-500 was the sixth delivered to (DCC), which signed a contract last year for 30 airplanes.

A320-232 (2874, VT-ADU), Boullioun (BOU) leased.

October 2006: Air Deccan (DCC) announced the launch of a twice-daily Mumbai - Kandla flight and a six-times-weekly Kolkata - Guwahati - Lilabari service, both beginning October 30 aboard ATR42s. (DCC) operates a fleet of 14 A320s and 21 ATR turboprops on 270 daily flights to 56 destinations. (DCC) said it had a 21.2% market share as of June.

(DCC) will inaugurate service from Bangalore to Madurai and operate the route with an ATR72.

(DCC) reported a loss of -INR3.4 billion/-$74.4 million in the 15-month period ended June 30, "Reuters" reported.

Deccan Aviation, parent (DCC) sold rights to future airplane deliveries to South Way Aircraft Trading of the Cayman Islands, a special-purpose vehicle (SPV), in a $100 million transaction funded by Investec Bank of the UK and Germany's HSH Nord Bank, according to press reports.

(DCC) has ordered 60 A320s for delivery over a seven-year period. Managing Director, G R Gopinath told reporters that "the deal would go a long way in ensuring (DCC)'s financial stability and insulating us from the turbulence in the domestic aviation industry."

"Reuters" reported that (DCC) already has received $30 million and will have the freedom to own any of the 60 A320s. Any airplanes it does not take, will be available for sale and possible leaseback by the (SPV).

3 A320-232 (2908, VT-ADT; 2914, VT-ADS; 2922, VT-ADR), & ATR72-212A (732, VT-DKI), deliveries.

November 2006: The "Federation of Indian Airlines" is the name of the new industry body created by scheduled passenger carriers in India, according to press reports. Initial members are Air Deccan (DCC), Air-India (AIN), Air Sahara (SAQ), GoAir (GOZ), Indian Airlines (IND), IndiGo (IGO), Jet Airways (JPL), Kingfisher Airlines (KFH), Paramount Airways (PAT), and SpiceJet (ROJ). The group will cooperate in areas such as human resources, maintenance and ground handling, as well as lobbying issues.

(DCC) inaugurated nonstop service from Delhi to Pathankot and is now operating a daily flight using an ATR42. Air Deccan (DCC) announced it plans on adding service to 7 new destinations in the next 2 - 3 months. These are Bodhgaya, Dharamsala, Jamshedpur, Kuchbihar, Ludhiana, Mysore and Salem.

December 2006: Air Deccan (DCC) has deployed a new 180-seater A320 on the Bangalore - Jaipur route via Mumbai. The Bangalore - Jaipur route became operational in October this year. Inaugurating the new airplane in Jaipur on Friday, Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor of Infosys Technologies said, "(DCC)'s extensive connectivity across India, in particular to unconnected towns and cities, has alleviated the Indian middle class, by making air travel a widely available and vastly affordable option."

"The trigger for (DCC)'s operations linking Jaipur to Bangalore and Mumbai was provided by the Infosys debut in this grand city. The recently established Infosys facility at Jaipur will surely accelerate Jaipur's growth as the Information Technology (IT) nucleus of the region. This will call for constant movement of people, resources and technology, making air travel and air connectivity vital infrastructure requirements" said Captain G R Gopinath, Managing Director of (DCC). He added, "We plan to link more cities of the south and also Kolkata to Jaipur in the near future."

ATR72-212A (733, VT-DKJ), delivery.

January 2007: Air Deccan (DCC) parent, Deccan Aviation reported a +INR96.4 million/+$2.2 million net profit in the three months ended December 31, its first profit since going public last summer, "Reuters" reported. (DCC) lost -INR429.4 million in the September quarter and -INR3.4 billion in the 15 months ended June 2006, the news agency said. Last quarter's revenues of INR6.37 billion were boosted by the $100 million October sale of delivery rights to 60 A320s and a +4% rise in yields.

Starting February 1st, a new daily flight Mumbai - Bhubaneshwar using A320s.

A320-232 (3012, VT-DNZ), delivery.

February 2007: With the 3rd largest Indian domestic fleet of 40 airplanes (with another 76 planned), Air Deccan (DCC) operates 300 daily flights to 61 domestic destinations. Its market share slid from a high of 21.2% in June 2006, to 18.1% in October 2006.

The Indian government is getting tough on English standards following a series of recent near mishaps, sending home at least 20 foreign pilots (FC) (mainly from Asia and central Europe) because of their poor command of the language. Indian Director General of Civil Aviation, Kanu Gohain told reporters that "the pilots (FC) posed a safety risk."

(DCC) launched daily Mumbai - Bhubaneshwar aboard a 180-seat A320.

March 2007: The India Ministry of Civil Aviation granted approval to Alliance Air (ALX), Jet Airways (JPL), Deccan Aviation (DCC), Sahara Airlines (SAQ), Kingfisher Airlines (KFH), Paramount Airways (PAT), and Indus Airways (IDU) to acquire and operate foreign manufactured airplanes with fewer than 80 seats. Airlines in India are exempt from landing fees for planes with fewer than 80 seats.

The ministry announced that the new Bangalore International Airport will open April 2.

(DCC) obtained certification for a Full Flight Trainer (FFT) manufactured by Mechtronix Systems. Unit originally was acquired by ATR Training Center and used by (DCC) pilots (FC). The (FFT) can be configured for either the ATR42-500 or ATR72-500.

April 2007: ATR72-212A (739, VT-DKH), delivery.

May 2007: (SITA) said it is working with Airports Authority of India (AAI) to deploy an additional 17 (VHF) ground stations at the nation's airports, enabling Indian airlines and (AAI) to exchange real-time data with airplanes and allowing "increased safety and efficiency of operations." This will bring (SITA)'s Aircom network in India to 23 stations.

June 2007: The pace of Indian consolidation appears to be ramping up as Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) took a significant step toward acquiring Bangalore rival Air Deccan (DCC) with the purchase of a 26% stake for INR5.46 billion/$133.6 million. The transfer, announced in filings with the Bombay Stock Exchange, includes a promise from Kingfisher (KFH) parent, United Breweries Holdings to make an open offer for a further 20% of (DCC), the country's first low-fare carrier. This deal will make (KFH) "probably . . . the largest airline in terms of market share" in India, (DCC) Chairman & Managing Director G R Gopinath told reporters in Bangalore, adding that there were other bidders. (DCC) will continue to operate as an independent Low Cost Carrier (LCC).

The deal follows Jet Airways (JPL)'s purchase of Air Sahara (SAQ) and the state-orchestrated merger of Air-India (AIN) and Indian Airlines (IND) as a response to the crippling overcapacity in the domestic market. (KFH) and (DCC) will operate a combined fleet of 71 airplanes to 70 destinations, according to press reports. The "Indo Asian News Service" reported that (JPL)/(SAQ) led India in 2006 with a combined 40% share, (IND) held 21.5%, (DCC) 18.3%, and (KFH) 8.7%.

(KFH)'s Vijay Mallya reportedly will become (DCC)'s Vice Chairman, with Gopinath taking the reins as Executive Chairman. The two airlines, which each operate A320 family airplanes and ATRs, will select a new CEO jointly. (DCC) reported a loss of -INR2.13 billion in the 12-month period ended March 31, "AFX News" reported.

Later, (KFH) revealed a few more details about parent United Breweries Group (UBG)'s acquisition of 26% of (DCC) parent, Deccan Aviation, including that the promised offer to acquire an additional 20% of (DCC) will be priced at the same INR155/$3.82 per share. The initial stake cost (UBG) INR5.46 billion. (UBG) will be the largest shareholder in (DCC) and will nominate three directors to the 12-member board. The combined fleet of 71 A320 family and ATR airplanes will operate 537 flights to 69 Indian cities, "whilst taking advantage of unparalleled synergy benefits arising from a common fleet of airplanes," according to (KFH). "For the near future, (KFH) will continue to serve the corporate and business travel segment, while (DCC) will focus on serving the low-fare segment, but with improved financial prospects for both carriers," (KFH) said. Speaking to reporters, UB Group head Vijay Mallya said there were no plans to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) "at this stage" and that (UBG) would have no problem funding the acquisition.

While shoring up its domestic presence with its pending acquisition of (DCC), (KFH) has big long-haul plans as well, including a possible alliance tie-up, Chairman & CEO, Vijay Mallya said at the (IATA) (IAT) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vancouver. "The delivery of our long-haul fleet of five A340-500s will be starting in February 2008," he said, which will lead to the launch of daily nonstop flights from Bangalore to San Francisco in April, and New York (JFK) in June. "Our [A340-500] will have a very luxurious configuration and thoroughly spectacular service, including a bar for our economy class passengers," he said.

(KFH) will add to its long-haul fleet with an order for five A340-600s that will be announced at this month's Paris Air Show. "We need more widebody airplanes for 2009 to 2010, because of the late delivery of our A380s," Mallya explained. The carrier has A330s, A350s and five A380s on order. The latter are expected to operate daily flights from Mumbai and Delhi to (JFK) starting in 2011.

(KFH) parent, United Breweries Group announced the acquisition of 26% of (DCC) parent Deccan Aviation, plus the promise to purchase an additional 20%. With a combined 71 airplanes and a 33% market share, Mallya said the airlines will carry 17.9 million passengers this year and dominate the Indian market along with the merged (JPL)/(SAQ), and (AIN/(IND). "The three carriers are controlling 80% of the Indian aviation market now," he said.

Regarding the three major alliances' effort to establish a foothold in India, he said that each already has invited (KFH) to join. He refused to offer further details, but said he expects the airline to post an operating profit in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, and be in position to report a net profit the following year.

(DCC) named former (JPL) executive, Anand Ramachandran as VP Finance. (DCC) announced the departure of COO, Warwick Brady, to become CEO of Mandala Airlines (MND).

A320-232 (3162, VT-DNY), delivery.

July 2007: Air Deccan (DCC) took delivery of its 20th new A320 last month, bringing its total fleet to 44 airplanes. The A320 will seat 180Y in a single class and be the eighth based in Kolkata. (DCC) will introduce a new flight to Vishakapatnam starting July 10.

2 A320-232s (3183, VT-DNX; 3219, VT-DNW, 2007-09), delivery.

October 2007: Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) appears to have taken a significant step toward winning the right to begin long-haul flights next year, as Indian authorities have proposed that fleet size, rather than the age of the carrier, be the determining factor, "The Economic Times (TET)" reported from Bangalore. Previously, airlines had to operate domestically for five years before applying for overseas rights, and a move to reduce that to three years, met with stiff opposition. (KFH) launched in spring 2005 and hopes to fly long-haul next year. Instead, Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel told (TET), "We should go by a threshold, rather than the number of years. For instance, if the fleet size is the threshold, and if an airline has 20 to 30 airplanes, then it should be allowed to fly overseas." He said he expects cabinet approval by year end. Patel told the paper that 70% of international traffic in India is carried by foreign airlines, whereas globally, local carriers average
a 50% share. "India will not meet this mark even after five years. Therefore we need to allow more domestic carriers to fly overseas," he concluded. (KFH) may have a backdoor as well, according to Business Standard. Air Deccan (DCC), 46% of which now is controlled by (KFH) Chairman, Vijay Mallya, received its operating license in January 2003, and will be eligible to fly internationally next year. Once (KFH) acquires a majority stake, it can petition for the right to use that license to operate its own airplanes overseas, the paper reported.

November 2007: A320-232 (3316, VT-GNV), delivery.

December 2007: Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) and Deccan Aviation (DCC) boards have decided to merge the companies, according to widespread press reports from India, paving the way for (KFH) to gain clearance to operate internationally next year. (KFH) parent, UB Group holds 46% of (DCC) and recently renamed its low-cost airline "Simplifly Deccan (DCC)," repainting its airplanes in red-and-white (KFH) livery. The two brands will remain after the merger, with (KFH) the full-service carrier. UBG CFO, Ravi Nedungadi told "Reuters" that the combined operation will require $250 to $300 million over the next six months, and that a private placement is being considered to raise the funds. The Hindu reported that UB will hold 51% of the new entity. UBJ head, Vijay Mallya, will be Chairman & CEO, with (DCC) Chairman, G R Gopinath, becoming the merged (KFH)'s Vice Chairman.

ATR72-212A (740, VT-DKK), delivery.

February 2008: Air Deccan (DCC) launched daily flights from Guwahati to Sichar and Aizawl, aboard ATRs.

(DCC) VP Finance, Anand Ramachandran said that the Kingfisher Airlines (KFH)-(DCC) merger likely will be completed in April, following a sale of shares that will raise $300 million to finance immediate expansion needs. "At the present moment, we are in talks to appoint a suitable merchant banker for the share sale by the end of this month," he said at a financial conference in Mumbai. He added that (DCC) has filed an initial application with regulators seeking permission for the merged airline to fly international routes starting in August, which will mark (DCC)'s fifth anniversary. Private Indian carriers must operate for five years, before legally being allowed to operate internationally.

March 2008: Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) will eliminate the "Deccan" (DCC) brand, once the carriers complete their merger in late April, (KFH) Chairman, Vijay Mallya told reporters, according to widespread press reports. He also said Indian civil aviation authorities confirmed that (KFH) will be able to fly abroad using (DCC)'s original air operating certificate (AOC) beginning August 28. However, (KFH) parent, UB Group President & CFO, Ravi Nedungadi told "The Hindu Business Line" that "while there will be no change in the low-cost model of (DCC), we will decide on whether to keep the name or change it in another 2 to 3 months. It is not a corporate decision and would depend on the surveys regarding the brand in the market."

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad near Hyderabad commenced commercial operations over the weekend. The facility, developed by the GMR Infrastructure-Hyderabad International Airport consortium, is India's first airport built under a private-public partnership model. Capacity is 12 million passengers annually, and it is the nation's first airport capable of handling an A380.

April 2008: Deccan Aviation, which is in the process of merging its Deccan subsidiary (DCC) with Kingfisher Airlines (KFH), reported a pre-tax loss of -INR1.98 billion/-$49.6 million in the third fiscal quarter ended March 31, improved slightly from a -INR2.12 billion deficit in the year-ago period. It credited a +36% rise in yield to INR3,274 for the result. (DCC) said the combined network will be rationalized beginning with the summer schedule. In addition, it said that Chairman, N S Narahara will make way for (KFH) Chief, Vijay Mallya, but will remain on the board.

May 2008: SEE NEW LIVERY - - "DCC-A320-2008-05/-A."

August 2008: "Kingfisher Red" is the new name for Air Deccan (DCC), and will operate as the low cost carrier (LCC) arm of Kingfisher Airlines (KFH)

(KFH) will launch international service on September 3 with a Bangalore - London Heathrow, A330-200 flight, according to widespread press reports from India. (KFH) acquired the air operating certificate (AOC) of (DCC), which this month will reach the mandatory five years of service required to fly internationally from India. A Directorate General of Civil Aviation official told "The Economic Times" that (KFH) already has secured permission to fly to 13 international destinations and eventually plans to fly to the UK, USA, (UAE), Singapore, Thailand, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Hong Kong.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport, developer and operator of the new Rajiv Gandhi International, said it received clearance from the Ministry of Aviation to levy a INR375/$8.66 user development fee on outbound domestic passengers.

The Indian government announced official approval for significant modernization and expansion projects at Kolkata (CCU) and Chennai airports that will bring the facilities to "international standard" and cost a combined $900 million. The 30-month project at (CCU) will cost an estimated INR19.43 billion/$452.4 million and expand annual handling capacity by 20 million passengers. The second runway will be extended to 3,293 m and made suitable for "large commercial airplanes," navigation facilities will be upgraded, airplane parking and additional taxiways will be added, and road and rail connections to the airport will be improved. The work first was proposed in April 2007. (CCU) handled 7.5 million passengers in the 2007 to 2008 fiscal year and is expected to process 24.7 million in 2015 through 2016.

At Chennai, INR18.1 billion will be spent on a similar 26-month project designed to increase capacity by +14 million passengers per year. In the recently completed fiscal year it processed 10.7 million passengers. The second runway will be extended and a new taxiway constructed, among other improvements, including a new domestic terminal building capable of handling 10 million passengers per year.

GMR Hyderabad International and Delhi International Airport (DEL) Ltd signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Deccan (DCC) Cargo & Express Logistics for the development of express cargo hubs. (DCC) initially plans to utilize a 300-sq-m cargo terminal operated by Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo and more than 2,000 sq m at (DEL). Operations are slated to begin January 1.

September 2008: Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) has cut -300 jobs and returned two airplanes to lessors, (KFH) confirmed. A spokesperson told the "Press Trust of India (PTI)" that 300 employees "have chosen to move on" as a result of a "concerted companywide effort aimed at minimizing the impact of the ongoing turbulence faced by the aviation industry." It was unclear how many were (KFH) employees and how many were with Deccan (DCC), which is being absorbed by the former. It told the "Business Standard (BS)" that the move is "part of a process of integration of the two entities." The paper reported that severance packages will cost (KFH) INR25 million/$550,760.

Further details about the returned planes were not available, with the company telling (PTI) it is "closely monitoring airplane utilization." It reportedly has deferred delivery of "at least" 29 A320 family airplanes and intends to sell "some" A340s, (BS) reported.

October 2008: Air Deccan (DCC) founder, Captain G R Gopinath, is preparing to buy back (DCC) from Kingfisher (KFH).

November 2008: The Indian parliament passed legislation establishing the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA). The (AERA) is designed to encourage investment, regulate charges and foster competition among Indian airports. But (IATA) (ITA) said more is needed, with Director General & CEO, Giovanni Bisignani claiming that "many" of (ICAO)'s principles of "transparency, nondiscrimination and user-consultation . . . are being ignored back in Delhi." He said India's air navigation service provider over-collects by +20% and that a 33% price differential for international landings "has no cost justification." He called on the Indian government to address current taxes on premium tickets, air navigation charges, landing and parking fees, and overflight charges, claiming they are "crippling the industry." The government did offer airlines some relief on fuel debt last month.

January 2009: The Indian government appears to be softening its stance on foreign direct investment in the country's airlines as they contend with large losses and overcapacity. Civil Aviation Minister, Prafel Patel told reporters this week that "there is a more reasonable case now than there was 3 to 4 years ago" to allow foreign carriers to acquire up to 25% of an Indian carrier. Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) has been a strong proponent of investment liberalization. "There is no clarity on the issue. This is one of the proposals which can be considered," Patel was quoted as saying. "Every airline has a problem and we have to look for extraordinary solutions. It is not formalized yet. It is only a thought process. We are not saying we will give it. We just feel the need," he said.

The Indian commercial aviation industry experienced a rough 2008. According to "The Hindu," passenger numbers fell 5% to 40.8 million following growth rates of 32.5% in 2007 and 46.5% in 2006. Jet Airways (JPL) led with 8.8 million, followed by Air-India (AIN) with 6.6 million, (KFH) with 6.3 million, Deccan (DCC) with 5 million, IndiGo (IGO) with 4.7 million, SpiceJet (ROJ) with 4.1 million and Paramount Airways (PAT) with 630,000.

February 2009: Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) launched four-times-weekly, Mumbai - Solapur service aboard a Kingfisher Red (DCC) ATR turboprop.

March 2009: Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) announced the following new services: Twice-daily, Mumbai - Vadodara; daily, Mumbai - Thiruvananthapuram (both aboard Kingfisher Red (DCC); daily, Hyderabad - Aurangabad; and daily, Mumbai - Bhuj, starting March 29; plus daily, Mumbai - Patna - Ranchi, from April 6.

The Indian economy, not terribly dependent on trade, grew +5% last quarter.

July 2009: Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) reported a -INR2.43 billion/-$50 million loss in its fiscal first quarter ended June 30, widened from a -INR1.58 billion deficit in the year-ago period, according to Dow Jones. Revenue dropped -6% year-over-year to INR13.14 billion and the board reportedly approved a INR5 billion equity raising through a rights issue, follow-on offer or placement of deposit receipts. (EBITDA) was positive at INR2.54 billion compared to a -INR3.24 billion loss in the quarter ended June 30, 2008. (KFH) suffered a -INR16.09 billion loss in the fiscal year ended March 31.

December 2009: India is making a considerable effort to join commercial aviation's environmental effort, Civil Aviation Director General, Nasim Zaidi said at the USA-India Aviation Partnership Summit in Washington, with authorities committed to establishing a national inventory of carbon dioxide emissions for the sector (with a base year of 2005) along with programs compelling both airlines and airports to be more efficient and green. "As a developing economy we have a concern of maintaining a balance between the sustainability of a growing economy and the adverse impact this growth can have on climate change," Zaidi said, adding that the Indian government has committed to a nationwide -20% to -25% cut in emissions by 2025. "The objective is to provide enough space to the airlines to grow without adversely affecting the environment."

An Aviation Environment Unit reporting to the (DGCA) will identify problem areas, provide technical guidance and suggest solutions covering both environmental issues and noise to industry stakeholders, he said. Carriers, meantime, have been asked to create similar units within their own companies. "Our fuel efficiency is not in line with the global average" of 0.4 liters per (RTK), he admitted. India currently is operating at 0.54 liters per (RTK), with Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) above 0.6 and Jet Airways (JPL) around 0.5, Zaidi said. "We have work to do in this area." India's (RTK) production ranks 12th in the world, considering the European Union (EU) as a single state.

Airlines have been instructed to adhere to proper maintenance procedures, minimize Auxilliary Power Unit (APU) usage, use Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and continuous descent and consider one-engine taxiing, among other initiatives. (PBN) has been implemented at Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad and is in progress at Chenai. On the ground, airlines and airports are being asked to monitor waste and look into using solar panels for lighting, constructing plants to recycle waste water or to generate electricity from waste and using compressed natural gas for ground vehicles.
Zaidi also said that India has "expressed our willingness" to join the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative.

January 2010: Indian airlines carried 44.5 million passengers in 2009, up +7.9% from the prior year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation reported. Fourth-quarter traffic soared +30.5% year-over-year to 12.5 million passengers and December traffic rose +34.8% to 4.5 million.

Jet Airways (JPL) (17.9%) and JetLite (SAQ) (7.5%) led all companies in full-year market share with a combined 25.4%, followed by Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) at 23.9% and Air India (AIN) with 17.5%. IndiGo (IGO) (13.9%) and Spicejet (ROJ) (12.4%) rounded out the top five. Indian carriers cut capacity during the first half of 2009 but registered year-over-year increases in both (RPK)s traffic and (ASK)s capacity in each of the year's last six months.

December (RPK)s rose nearly +40% over the year-ago month, with average load factor surpassing 80% LF owing to the peak season. IndiGo (IGO) posted a 90% LF load factor for the month, with Jet (JPL) posting the lowest figure at 78.2% LF.

India's airlines transported 43.8 million passengers on domestic routes in 2009. Kingfisher (KFH) led the way with a 23.9% share equal to 10.5 million passengers, followed by (JPL) at 17.9% and (AIN)/(IND) at 17.5%.

August 2010: Lying idle for three months after its official opening on May 15, India's newly modernized Mysore Airport seems closer to starting commercial operations now that Kingfisher Red (DCC) has applied for clearances that it expects to receive shortly according to "The DAILY." (DCC) will operate in the Bangalore - Mysore -
Chennai and Bangalore - Belgaum - Mumbai sectors.

(DCC) is expected to fly a 55-seat ATR to Mysore. The airport, which cost Rs 82 crore to build, hopes to cash in on the tourists who flock to Mysore because of its historical monuments. Mysore is also the favorite hot spot for information technology (IT) firms, such as Infosys, which has a massive campus in the city.

The Karnataka state government doled out a subsidy of Rs 25 crore to attract airlines, following the poor response from most operators after the airport’s inauguration. With Kingfisher Red (DCC) coming forward, the government hopes that other airlines will show an interest.

It was expected that the airport would start commercial operations from August 15 (India’s Independence Day), but sources confirm that the airport will miss this date. Now the government is trying to have the flights ready during the annual Dasara festival season [September to October], when tourists from all parts of the world descend on Mysore. It could even happen earlier if all the
clearances come on time, sources say.

Airlines earlier backed out of serving the airport, citing extremely poor traffic, which caused major embarrassment to the Karnataka government. Most of the airlines wanted tax breaks on fuel before starting operations. Many also felt that the airport can accommodate only narrow body airplanes. Between April 2009 and March 2010,
nearly 150 charter flights operated from Mysore Airport.

October 2011: When the young and inexperienced Kingfisher (KFH) ordered every plane that Airbus (EDS) had to offer (A319s, A320s, A321s, A330s, A350s and yes, A380s) the writing was on the wall. Sure enough, (KFH), however good its service, suffered year after year of losses. And today, it’s an airline with a badly scarred balance sheet still flying only thanks to banks agreeing to convert debt into equity. So what to do next? Kingfisher (KFH) is now dumping its single-class, low-fare product, marketed as Kingfisher Red (DCC), to focus exclusively on the full-service market. That was its original intention upon launching in 2005, before it complicated its business model by buying India’s first-ever Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Air Deccan (DCC) in 2007. At the same time, however, it’s adding more seats to its planes, while also focusing on secondary markets with ATRs and building its international network that now comprises eight cities: London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Colombo, and Dhaka.

(KFH) justified its plans to close down its low-cost carrier (LCC) (DCC) in four months, saying the operating costs involved were the same as in a full-service carrier and the revenues lesser.

Maintaining that there was more competition in the no- frill segment than the full-service segment in India, (KFH) (CEO), Sanjay Aggarwal said the decision would help (KFH) generate additional revenue after its exit from the low-cost service, where competition was more intense and a price war could hit the margins.

Seeking to quell concerns emanating from the decision to shut down (DCC), he said the move would rather generate incremental revenue for the company.

Kingfisher Red's (DCC) fleet of ATR42-500s and ATR72-500s turboprops will be retained, and after the airplane's interior cabins are refurbished, they will be integrated into (KFH)'s mainline fleet. The additional turboprops will add around +10% more capacity and the process will be completed by the end of this year.

May 2012: Deccan Charters (based at Bangalore Kempegowda International airport (BLR)) could reportedly be turned into a scheduled low-cost carrier (LCC) by Air Deccan ((IATA) Code: DN, also based at Bangalore Kempegowda International airport (BLR)) founder, Captain Gopinath by the end of the year, when his non-competition clause in a contract with Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) expires. Gopinath had agreed not to compete with a scheduled passenger carrier in India as part of a deal to sell his shares in Air Deccan (DCC) to Kingfisher (KFH) in 2007.

June 2012: Airlines in India have agreed to lower fares -5% to -20% after a reprimand by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which called the average airfare “phenomenal.” The (DGCA) action was in response to a steady rise in air fares on domestic routes since the end of 2011.

According to (DGCA) Chief, E K Bharat Bhushan, who met with airline (CEO)s in Delhi, the (DGCA) has been under pressure to intervene on behalf of passengers. “The increase in average airfare offered by the airlines is phenomenal, though aviation turbine fuel prices have gone up only by +16% in the last one year,” the (DGCA) said.

Airlines have been advised to upload their revised tariff on their websites as soon as possible. The fare reductions will be on the highest fare categories, which are tickets typically sold very close to the date of departure. Most carriers typically sell more than half their inventory in advance.

Indian carriers have been able to command higher fares mainly because seat capacity in the market has come down after the struggling Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) substantially reduced its international flights. (KFH)’s fleet is down to 14 airplanes from 88 at its peak.

The Indian government requires airlines to periodically submit fare charts to the (DGCA), which the airlines are free to discount. Most have been charging a premium because demand has exceeded supply recently.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
DCC-A320 VT-ADZ JUL07
DCC-A320-MAY08
DCC-A320-MAY08-A
DCC-ATR

June 2012:

1 +2 OPTIONS A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2029, VT-DKW, 2006-03; 2077, VT-DKX, 2006-02), EX-(USA)/(AMW), (GEF) LSD. 2077; TO (N607SA) 2008-12. 180Y.

8 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2524, VT-DKZ, 2005-09; 2564, VT-DKY, 2005-10; 2908, VT-ADT, 2006-10; 2914, VT-ADS, 2006-10; 2922, VT-ADR, 2006-10; 3012, VT-DNZ, 2007-01; 3162, VT-DNY, 2007-06; 3183, VT-DNX, 2007-07; 3219, VT-DNW, 2007-09; 3316, VT-GNV, 2007-11; 3524; VT-DNU; 3543, VT-DNT). 2908; TO (LNK) AS (4R-ABG) 2008-12. 3524; & 3543; TO MANDALA (MND) 2008-12 AS (PK-RMK) & (PK-RML). 3183; & 3219; TO (N621SA) & (N623SA) 2008-12; 180Y.

3 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2645, VT-DKV, 2006-01; 2676, VT-DKU, 2006-02; 2874, VT-ADU, 2006-09), (BOU) LSD. 180Y.

5 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (932, VT-ADX, 2004-08; 943, /99 VT-ADY, 2004-08; 977, /99 VT-ADZ 2004-07; 2366, /05 VT-ADV; 2376, /05 VT-ADW), EX-(QTA), (SIL) LSD, 180Y.

1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2731, VT-DKR), (ILF) LSD 2006-04. 180Y.

2 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2747, VT-DKS; 2753, VT-DKT), (DEA) LSD 2006-04. 180Y.

1 ORDER A320-232 (3812, VT-KRH), EX-(D-AVVE).

5 ATR42-320 (PW121) (128, /89 VT-ADB; 208, /90 VT-ADD; 333, /93 VT-ADC; 351, VT-ADF; 388, /95 VT-ADA; 397, VT-ADG; 406, VT-ADE), ATR LSD 2004-06. 208 RTND 2005-06. 333; RTND 2007-06. 48Y.

7 +3 ORDERS ATR42-500 (PT127E) (445, VT-ADO, 2005-12; 503, VT-ADI, 2005-05; 510, /04 VT-ADH; 515, VT-ADP, 2005-11; 556, /04 VT-ADM; 612, /04 VT-ADJ; 613, /05 VT-ADK), EX-(ACE) 2005-01. 46Y.

1 ATR42-512 (PW127E) (574, /98 VT-ADL; 576, /98 VT-ADN), (OMR) 2 YR LSD. 574; RTND 2008-12. 46Y.

8 +21 ORDERS ATR72-512 (535, VT-DKQ, 2006-02; 718, VT-DKA, 2005-09; 720, VT-DKB; 721, VT-DKC, 2005-11; 723, VT-DKE, 2006-07; 725, VT-DKD, 2006-05; 732, VT-DKI, 2006-10; 733, VT-DKJ, 2006-12; 739, VT-DKH, 2007-03; 740, VT-DKK, 2007-12), 535 RTND 2009-12.

Management:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
DCC-CEO-MAY08

VIJAY MALLYA, CHAIRMAN (ALSO CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR OF KINGFISHER (KFH)) (2007-06).

CAPTAIN GORUR RAMASWAMY GOPINATH, GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR & VICE CHAIRMAN. ALSO FOUNDER. RESIGNS TO ESTABLISH DECCAN 360 (DEC) A NEW START-UP CARGO OPERATOR IN (2009-05).
He is a graduate of the prestigious National Defence Academy and has served in the Indian Army. A recipient of the prestigious ROLEX Award for Ecological site farming and the WIPRO PRSI Award, he is the driving force behind the organization.

RAMKI SUNDARAM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) (2007-05).
May 2008: Ramki Sundaram's time in the CEO chair may be coming to an end but he doesn't seem too worried about it.

Sundaram took over as CEO of Indian low-cost carrier Deccan last May and will be stepping down when Deccan (DCC) completes its planned merger with sister full-service carrier Kingfisher Airlines (KFH). The merger, expected to be completed over the next couple of months, will create one carrier with separate low-cost and full-service brands under a single air operators' certificate (AOC). It will also create one management team led by Vijay Mallya, the flamboyant CEO and founder of Kingfisher Airlines (KFH), who will be Chairman & CEO of the new entity. Sundaram says he hopes to stay on and be part of the new management team, pointing out that his promotion to CEO one year ago "was driven by circumstances more than anything else".

Sundaram initially joined Bangalore-based, Deccan (DCC) in February 2007 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He previously worked in London for South African banking group Investec, and his knowledge of the airline industry was limited to his dealings in airplane financing while at Investec. "I'm not from the industry as such so it was a steep learning curve," Sundaram says.

However, he had to learn the ins and outs of the industry quickly, in particular the peculiarities of the intensely competitive and dynamic Indian low-cost market. Less than four months after moving to Bangalore, a 26% stake in Deccan (DCC) was sold to Kingfisher (KFH) parent the UB Group. As part of the deal, Deccan (DCC) Founder & CEO, G R Gopinath relinquished the CEO role, although he remained Chairman of Deccan (DCC)'s parent and will be Vice-Chairman of the new merged entity, and Sundaraman all of a sudden found himself in the CEO seat.

Sundaram has since overseen an aggressive restructuring of Deccan (DCC)'s network and fare structure. A new focus on revenue management was introduced with some of the lowest fare buckets turned off completely. Unprofitable routes have been dropped or handed to Kingfisher (KFH). As the UB Group increases its stake in Deccan (DCC) to nearly 50%, Deccan (DCC) started focusing more on leisure routes, leaving Kingfisher (KFH) to routes with more business traffic. "Consolidation provided an opportunity for more rational fares," Sundaram says.

He adds Deccan (DCC)'s yields over the last several months have improved dramatically, but losses have continued to pile up at the same rate of roughly -$15 million to -$20 million per month. Deccan (DCC) incurred -$200 million in losses during calendar 2007 and for the first three months of 2008, incurred another -$50 million loss. "Revenues are up, but over the same period, oil prices have shot up so it's a zero sum game," Sundaram says.

But Sundaram is confident in the future. He sees the two major roadblocks to profitability in the Indian low-cost sector - high state taxes on aviation fuel and capacity problems at major airports - being lifted over the next couple of years. He also sees a booming market with seemingly never ending demand.

"There is still huge scope for market demand," he says. "There is still room for growth. When you look at the long term, the fundamentals are good. The Indian middle class is still 200 million odd and the economy is still growing at +10%."

Deccan (DCC), which became India's first low-cost carrier when it launched in 2003, now has a 15% share of India's domestic market with Kingfisher (KFH) having another 15%. Sundaram is confident the new combined entity can maintain this 30% share, which puts its "neck and neck" with rival full service carrier Jet Airways (JPL) and its low-cost unit Jetlite (SAQ). Jet (JPL) now has a 23% share of the domestic market with Jetlite (SAQ), created early last year after Jet (JPL) acquired Air Sahara (SAQ), with another 7%.

But Sundaram says Deccan (DCC)'s previous strategy of "getting as much market share as possible" has been dropped, and the carrier is now focused on only operating profitable routes. "Our focus is to get to profitability soonest," he says.

He adds Deccan (DCC) and Kingfisher (KFH) are now working on a new long-term fleet plan for the merged entity, which will slow down expansion to a more rational level. Deccan (DCC) now operates 23 A320s and 18 ATR turboprops. Kingfisher (KFH) operates a similar number of A320s and ATRs, and both carriers combined have well over 100 more airplanes on order. Sundaram will not reveal what the new fleet plan will entail, saying it is still being finalised, but the pace of deliveries will definitely be slowed. "We've looked at it closely and worked out the number that makes sense," he says.

He adds the two carriers are also now working at identifying new "synergy benefits". Deccan (DCC) is also looking forward to the opening later this month of a new airport in Bangalore. The airport was originally scheduled to open in March, and Sundaram says the delay forced the carrier to postpone a slate of new flights. "We're hoping to have more flights at Bangalore, because we are so strong in the southern region," he says.

He describes the old Bangalore airport as "choc-a-bloc". A lack of slots at Bangalore and India's two largest metros, Delhi and Mumbai, has prevented all of India's low-cost carriers from expanding in the county's biggest markets. Sundaram says as a result, it is challenging to find places to put new airplanes, but eventually all the infrastructure bottlenecks will be lifted, and India's carriers can increase capacity to meet the booming demand. "It will take time for airports, especially Mumbai and Delhi, to sort themselves," Sundaram says.

CAPTAIN K J SAMUEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
He is a founder Director. An experienced Army Aviation pilot, he is a Presidential Gallantry Award winner and still actively flies for the parent company.

ANAND RAMACHANDRAN, VP FINANCE, EX-(JPL), (2007-06).

MR KIRISHNASWAMY, HEAD OF COMMERCIAL DEPARTMENT.

RAJIV KOTHIYAL, CHIEF PILOT.

VIJAYA MENON, HEAD CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS (vijayamenon@airdeccan.net) (communications@airdeccan.net).

 
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