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AIR DECCAN TUTICORIN FLIGHTS

Air Deccan to operate flights from JVSL airport

 

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

25 July, 2005: Low-cost carrier Air Deccan is planning to operate flights to Bellary in Karnataka, using a private airport owned by Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Ltd (JVSL). The carrier is also planning to extend its Chennai-Madurai service to Tuticorin from August.

The move to operate flights to Bellary by Air Deccan comes in wake of a decision by JVSL to allow commercial aircraft use its existing airport facility at Toranagallu village in Karnataka.

The Karnataka government has also evinced interest in the partnering with the companies for the commercial venture, for which Air Deccan would invest about Rs 10 crore. The investments would be used for upgrading the airport for commercial operations, like extending and strengthening the runway and setting up ticketing and check-in counters.

At present, JVSL is using the airport for ferrying of its personnel and aircraft. The airstrip is equipped for landing of 26-seater aircraft.

However, the carrier is yet to receive commercial license to operate flights to Bellary, even though the carrier had earlier applied for one.

This joint venture, between JVSL and Air Deccan, is slated to be beneficial to carriers that affected by lack of proper airport infrastructure in the country.

This move would be open up similar tie-ups between companies owing private airports, who would open up the infrastructure for private airlines.

Meanwhile, Air Deccan is also planning to extend its Chennai-Madurai service to Tuticorin from August.

The airport situated at Vagaikulam, 15 kms away from Tuticorin is being readied for operation of commercial flights. The carrier intends to extend its Chennai-Madurai service, ferried using an ATR-43 aircraft with a capacity to carry 48 passengers, to Tuticorin.

Air Decaan was also mulling of setting up a flight training academy at Tuticorin in the next three months with an intention to train pilots on four Cessna-152 aircraft.

There are also plans for starting regional air services connecting Tuticorin with Thiruvananthapuram and Coimbatore among others.

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

 

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