Remember the name Captain Gopinath? He was the one who pioneered low cost flying within India with his Air Deccan which he sold off to the king of good times – Vijay Mallya and Air Deccan was sold off to Kingfisher Airlines. He then started off his logistics and charter services.
The latest news is that Gopinath is ready to get back to passenger services again. He plans to launch services which will connect far flung and neglected towns. In fact his company, to be named once again as Air Deccan, was chosen by the PM Modi as one amongst the five companies which will help revive unused and under-used airports in India’s hinterlands under the UDAN scheme. Gopinath’s airline will be a 18-19 seater and will provide connectivity between places like Burnpur, Cooch Behar, Rourkela, and Shillong.
Under the UDAN scheme, Air Deccan, Air India’s subsidiary Alliance Air, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, and Air Odisha will connect metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad to 70 small cities, including Kanpur, Bathinda, Pathankot, and Gwalior. Currently, no airlines fly to 31 of the cities selected under the UDAN scheme.
The government will provide a financial stimulus to the airlines besides granting them a monopoly on these routes for three years. The price of 50% of the seats on one-hour flights will be fixed at Rs2,500.
Captain Gopinath was a game changer then and this too will change the face of Indian aviation.