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Tuesday, Jan 08, 2002

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Air Sahara TV campaign to feature Saurav Ganguly

Ashwini Phadnis


THE television campaign of Air Sahara featuring the Indian cricket team captain, Saurav Ganguly, makes its maiden appearance on January 22, coinciding with the start of the one-day series between India and England.

"The television campaign will initially be available only on the sports channel. But later we will extend it to other channels also. Besides, the airlines starts a major print media advertisement campaign focussing on the increase in connectivity, more seats being offered and convenient timings from January 15," the airlines Chief Executive Officer, Mr U.K. Bose, told Business Line.

This is to be the second time that the airline, which has seen the number of daily flights offered increase from 38 to 54 within a space of one-and-half months, is to go in for advertising on the television.

Apart from focussing on bringing in more aircraft and tapping the multi-national companies based in India and the large Indian business houses to attract more high-yield passengers, the forthcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh is proving to be a boon for the group as it is being inundated by requests from various political parties for hiring its fleet of four helicopters.

"The Group plans to put three of the four helicopters that it has for use by various political parties," officials from the Group said without specifying whether the fourth helicopter was to be kept aside for the exclusive use of any one political party.

While refusing to specify which political parties had approached the Group, sources said that all the companies owing helicopters in the country had already come up with a special `election rate' for hiring of the machines.

Meanwhile, the airline is awaiting the arrival of two more aircraft — one Boeing 737-400 and one brand new Boeing 737-700 — by the middle of this month.

The airline, which is adding a second frequency on the Delhi-Bangalore sector from January 6, discounted the chances of a fare war breaking out in the sector.

"It is very surprising but every time more capacity is added on any sector the market seems to grow," Mr Bose said.

Indian Airlines has also announced the launch of its fourth daily service on the Delhi-Bangalore sector and Jet Airways also offers more than a daily connection on the sector.

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