Air Deccan to undergo makeover

11 September, 2007:

Air Deccan will no longer be the common man’s bread-and-butter budget carrier. Vijay Mallya's UB group, which has a 26% stake in the airline, will give a makeover to Air Deccan complete with a new identity and enhanced flying standards to better brand perceptions.

Vijay Mallya has said that he plans to give Air Deccan a 'premium' look and feel, so that it is transformed into the best product in the low-cost airline space, according to a report. The end objective is to enhance the flying experience to command higher prices.

As part of the refurbishing plan, Air Deccan's logo will go. Air Deccan's livery will be identical to that of Kingfisher. The fleet will be painted in the Kingfisher colors of red and white with the blue kingfisher on its tail. The entire service chain will carry the Kingfisher colors.

The brand name will not be changed outright as the brand enjoys instant recall across the country. Mallya may shorten the name to Deccan, though.

Other substantial changes include tackling poor on-time performance. Air Deccan's aimed-for 20-minute gap between arrival and departure that never
really worked, will be nixed. This is expected to make a difference to Air Deccan's on-time performance. Air Deccan's practice of outsourcing of check-in staff will end. To encourage accountability, the service will now be handled by airline staff.

Air Deccan's fleet will be refurbished. The plan is to replace the ATR 42 aircraft and the ageing A320 planes with new aircraft.

And, last but not the least, Air Deccan's fares will see a gradual hike.

Vijay Mallya has reportedly decided to launch an open offer for 20 per cent more equity later in September 2007.




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