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Air Deccan mulls IPO, lists tickets in petrol bunks

In a first of its kind in India, Air deccan plans to sell its tickets through HPCL petrol pumps.


6 June, 2005: It is all happening in Air Deccan. The low-cost no-frill air line has announced an Initial Public Offering for its ambitious fleet acquisition programme. It plans to off load 25 per cent stake to garner $250million-$300 million. The Air Deccan IPO is slated for the period between November2005-June, 2006. Jet Airways, India’s No 1 private carrier, had come out with an IPO earlier this year. Air Deccan also mulls selling American Depositary Receipts on Nasdaq.

And that is not all. Next time you want an airline ticket, you may even get it through Hindustan Petroleum outlets. Air Deccan is trying all sorts of approaches to make customer the king.

By launching the concept of making available air tickets through HP outlets, Air Deccan hopes to cash in on the easy availability factor to drive ticket sales. To begin with, air tickets would be made available in 30 HPCL out lets through e-tickets.

The low cost airline’s boss G R Gopinath, who owns 26 per cent equity in the airline, said Air Deccan would keep 1000 tickets every month for its much-touted Re 1 tickets. According to him the airline would target one billion passenger seats and would add one A-320 and ATR every month, over the next six months.

The Air Deccan chief also announced two new schemes – Superflier and Superflier Plus—for selling 30 and 36 tickets at a cost of Rs 50,000 and Rs lakh.

Superflier scheme would be available for ant Air Deccan ATR sector, while Superflier Plus would be available in any sector in which the larger Airbus operates. Air Deccan aims to fly 4 million passengers in the current financial year.

Air Deccan operates 111 flights a day. It has a fleet of five Airbus A-320 aircraft and 12 48-seater ATR-42s. The airline has also placed orders for 60 aircraft, hoping to increase the number of its daily flights to 600 in five years. Air Deccan was launched a year ago to rope in rail passengers with rock-bottom prices. This has been a success as a strategy as estimates put about 40 per cent of the airlines traveler as “first time travelers”.

India’s aviation sector is witnessing a flurry of activity. In May this year, liquor baron Vjijay Mallya came out with his Kingfisher airline. SpiceJet also commenced operations. But unlike, Air Deccan, Kingfisher and SpiceJet are not targeting the low-end sector of passengers. Aviation analysts say 10 more airlines may be launched this year.

The country’s air travel is expected to jump 20 per cent every year. 



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