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Kingfisher Air gets its first aircraft

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The Kingfisher Airlines Chairman, Mr Vijay Mallya, after taking delivery of the Airbus A320 aircraft in Toulouse on Monday.
The Kingfisher Airlines Chairman, Mr Vijay Mallya, after taking delivery of the Airbus A320 aircraft in Toulouse on Monday.

K. Giriprakash

Toulouse (France), April 25

KINGFISHER Air on Monday took delivery of its first brand new Airbus A320 aircraft.

The A320-200 aircraft has been leased from DaimlerChrysler-owned debis AirFinance. The company will lease out three more similar aircraft to Kingfisher Air.

At a function at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, the UB Group Chairman and Chairman of Kingfisher Air, Mr Vijay Mallya, signed a deal with debis Air Finance and Airbus Industrie to take delivery of the aircraft. The airline will be launched on May 8, the birthday of Mr Mallya's son, Mr Siddharth.

The inaugural flight will take off on May 9 and will be from Mumbai to Bangalore in the morning. Later, several new sectors will be introduced.

"As per our vision statement of 2010, we expect to be the largest private sector domestic airline in the country," Mr Mallya said.

The airline has placed orders for 11 more aircraft this year. It has placed orders for a total of 30 new A320 and three A319 aircraft from Airbus at a total cost of $1.93 billion (Rs 8,500 crore). All the aircraft will have IAE V2500-5A engines. Indian Airlines will provide engineering and maintenance support, while Lufthansa Technik will provide spares.

Mr Mallya said that the airline will certainly not price tickets as low as Rs 500, but it will be slightly lesser than those offered by Jet Airways and Indian Airlines. "We don't have an economy class or a business class, but a single class: each seat will have a TV screen and each passenger will be treated as a guest," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 26, 2005)
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