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BUSINESS

 

Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines takes off in May

Kingfisher Airlines to take off on May 7, the birthday of Vijay Mallya's son

 

BY OUR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT

18 Feb 2005: Backed by an impressive fleet, Kingfisher Airlines takes to skies on May 7, 2005. The "Funliners," as Kingfisher calls its aircraft, will start off with the first commercial flight between Mumbai and Delhi on May 7. The date coincides with the 18th birthday of Vijay Mallya's son. 

At a press conference, Dr Mallya, head of UB group that owns Kingfisher, said that that initially, there will be flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Flights from other cities will be started at a later date. "Our fares will be 25% cheaper than those offered by Jet and Indian Airlines," said Dr Mallya.

Kingfisher Airlines has ordered a total of 30 brand new A320 aircraft from Airbus at a cost of $1.8 billion/Rs.8100 crores. The first 8 "Funliners" will be delivered in 2005 with 8 more being delivered in 2006.

Kingfisher Airlines has also leased 4 brand new Airbus A-320-200 aircraft from Debis Air Finance (a Company owned by DaimlerChrysler) which will be delivered directly from the Airbus factory in Toulouse beginning April 2005. Debis is also a significant investor in Kingfisher Airlines with over US$ 200 million. Kingfisher Airlines has appointed Calyon as financial advisors to negotiate and secure financing for its new Aircraft.

By 2008, Kingfisher Airlines expects to have a total of 34 Aircraft in its fleet. The Kingfisher "Funliners" will be powered by the IAE V2500-5A Engines manufactured by International Aero Engines - claimed to be the quietest and most fuel efficient engine option available in the world.

The aircraft will be based at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport and will operate flights to destinations across India.

In its first year of operations, Kingfisher Airlines expects to have 8 brand new "Funliners" flying the Indian skies.

JET AIRWAYS IPO, NEW YORK FLIGHT: 

Meanwhile, the Jet Airways IPO opened on February 17. A book-built IPO, the issue got oversubscribed o te first day by about 4.5 times. Most of the bids were received at the higher end of the price band - Rs 1125. The IPO for 20% of the expanded equity (1.73 crore shares) attracted demand for 7.3 crore shares. There has been actie institutional participation.

On the same day, Jet Airways won government approval to fly to New York. The flights will be via Brussels. Jet will be the first and only Indian private airline flying to a US port. Jet has got permission to operate three flights a week from Mumbai to New York. Already, the government has allowed Jet and Sahara to fly to the UK. 

BY OUR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT

 

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