The Indian aviation industry is getting a new airline, most probably before the end of the year 2020, and Air Taxi will receive the Scheduled Commuter Airline Permit from the regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation).
“We got our permit on December 14. We will be applying for slots now,” Varun Suhag, Air Taxi’s co-founder mentioned to Moneycontrol’s enquiry. The operations of the airlines will be based in Chandigarh.
“We have a total of 26 routes in RCS,” Suhag said and added that it plans to start the operations in December.
The government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme also known as UDAN, provides an incentive to airlines to initiate services in tier 2 and 3 cities. One such incentive is the subsidy the government provides, per seat, to the carriers.
Air Taxi will be provided with a fleet of Tecnam P2006T aircraft, a twin-engine four-seat plane manufactured by Italian firm Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam.
Airports Authority of India’s data depicted that 299 of the UDAN routes were operational by November. Air Taxi was assigned routes in the fourth phase of the scheme. Air Taxi will most likely be the first to start services on routes awarded in this round.
Star Air, a Bengaluru-based regional airline, initiated services in the same month from Kalaburagi in Karnataka to Hindon Airport in Ghaziabad. This route was awarded in the third phase.
Suhag had earlier mentioned that these aircraft are cheaper to maintain than a turboprop.
“These aircraft do not run on aviation turbine fuel, like the other traditional planes, but on aviation gas. We source it from Indian Oil Corporation, which imports it. Some of the aircraft that seat over four, also run on petrol,” Suhag had said. Another of Suhag’s firm Citrus Air is an authorised dealer for Tecnam in India.