BY A CORRESPONDENT
March 26: Even as battle brews for domination in Indian skies, the Bangalore-based Air One is planning a quiet foray into
the largely-untapped non-trunk routes in the country. The airline, set up by entrepreneurs and some ex-Indian
Airlines staffers, hopes to do an Air Deccan in the non-metro routes.
Positioned as a low-budget airline, Air One has already received a no-objection certificate from the Union Ministry
of Civil aviation. Air One is expected to take off in May 2005.
Air One chairman and managing director JW Lobo says that his airline is "not plunging into any competition."
There is a niche market, he believes, which can be easily tapped by Air One.
Air One is planning to start operations with leased 50-seater Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft.
Currently, Air Deccan is the only low-cost carrier operating on domestic routes. Kingfisher Airlines is expected to
take off soon, with fares slightly lower than those of conventional airliners.
In a recent report in Economic Times, Air One chief JW Lobo said that the low-cost airline will serve only snacks
and cold-drinks on board, but that would be complimentary service. Passengers need not pay for the facility.
Air One is eyeing the Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram service. The Embraer ERJ 145, flying with Rolls Royce engines,
will take three hours and 20 minutes to reach Delhi from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.
Air One is also planning to expand its fleet to five in an year. It is also looking at the Delhi-Bhubaneshwar and
Air One tickets will be available over the Internet. Many airlines, in a determined bid to cut agent costs have
taken to the practice of online bookings via Internet. Air One plans to sell the majority of its tickets, paid in
advance by passengers on the internet.
Air One will begin services with one leased aircraft and by end-2005, plans to fly five Embraer jets in the country.
Watch this space for Air One launch, tickets,
booking, flight schedules and other related news!
BY A CORRESPONDENT