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AVIATION - AIR DECCAN IPO

Air Deccan IPO between Nov-Jan

India's original budget airline Air Deccan come out with IPO between Nov-Jan.


 

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

19th August, 2005: Budget airliner Air Deccan has confirmed its intentions to go public. The low cost airline’s head GR Gopinath said the firm will offload 20 to 25% of its stake through an initial public offering.

The IPO is slated to happen between November this year and January next year, the Air Deccan top honcho said. Air Deccan is in the process of identifying merchant bankers to kickstart the IPO process. But Gopinath made it amply clear that merchant banks “would not be those associated with Jet Airways IPO".

Deutche Bank and Citi were the lead bankers for the Jet Airways IPO. Jet Airways had come out with its IPO in February this year to fund its ambitious fleet expansion programme.

Air Deccan would add five ATR Turbo-Prop aircraft and seven airbus A-320s into its fleet this fiscal and seven A-320s next year, Gopinath informed mediapersons.

Air Deccan has 14 ATRS and five airbus aircraft at present. The no-frills airline pioneer also said his firm sees a requirement of 650 pilots in the coming five to six years. India’s aviation boom has seen many Indian Air Force pilots quitting their jobs to take up lucrative posts in mushrooming private airline firms.

Gopinath hinted that more than half of his new recruits for the airline would be commanders. Air Deccan employs 200 commanders now. Air Deccan was in the process of finding more slots in the busy Mumbai and Delhi airports as more aircraft start arriving to the country soon. Though India is witnessing an aviation boom, the airline firms are finding it difficult to cope up with the already choked infrastructure.

Air Deccan had on the eve of the Independence Day announced a Freedom At Midnight scheme to commemorate India’s Independence Day. It announced that it would release tickets between 11 pm midnight (Aug 14 -15) TO August 21 for just Rs 500. This is apart from RS 221 in taxes. The fares are applicable only for the next days travel.

Air Deccan already has a similar scheme called Happy Hours by which tickets are available for a discount from 9 pm to 11 pm for travel next day on airbus routes in select sectors.

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

 

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