Logistics

Former Jet Airways CEO, top Executive mull launch low-cost carrier

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on February 10, 2021

Multiple sources said that Vinay Dube and Praveen Iyer have decided to explore the possibility

Erstwhile Jet Airways CEO, Vinay Dube and Senior Executive Praveen Iyer are planning to launch a new low-cost-carrier.

Multiple sources said that Dube and Iyer have decided to explore the possibility of launching a new low-cost-carrier in India. Sources close to the development said that the conversations were “premature but, firm.”

“The duo have started working on a roadmap for the airline, they plan to launch the airline before the end of next fiscal,” said one of the people.

Dube was the CEO of Jet Airways before it was grounded in April 2019, and at the same time, Iyer was a Senior Executive. Post their stint at the debt-strapped airline, both were hired in the top management as CEO and CCO respectively in GoAir. However, both quit in less than a year.

Dube and Iyer declined to comment when contacted by BusinessLine.

Huge potential

According to sources, Dube, who has also worked with GoAir, sees a huge potential in the LCC sector in India. “If one was to start applying for licenses now, and have conversations with lessors at the moment, there is a high possibility that by the end of FY22, the airline would be in the sky.”

While much of the global industry remains on its knees, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has still not put off start-ups to launch their airlines. Several airlines across the globe launched their maiden flights to multiple destinations. According to data from global aviation tracking sites, at least 15 airlines were launched towards the end of 2020.

Also read: Airlines told to rejig UDAN flights to cut viability gap funding by 40%

Despite headwinds due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in the third quarter of FY20, pilot-turned aviation entrepreneur, Sanjay Mandavia has also gone ahead with his plans to launch airline Flybig. The airline started operations with two aircraft and plans to escalate it to at least 20 aircraft by the end of FY21.

When asked so as to why did he decide to go ahead with the plan to start the airline in the midst of the pandemic, in an interview with BusinessLine, Mandavia had said that “If we start at this time, it will be a blessing in disguise because we benefit from the tailwinds and the lower leases. It is an apt time because the leasing of aircraft too is cheaper than usual. There has been at least 20-25 per cent lower than usual. It gives us better negotiation power and better our margins.”

According to WHO, it would take at least two years for India to bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic. “The two will use at least six months in finalising the plan, while applying for the necessary licenses.” However, it is unclear at the moment whether the duo would opt for regional or metro routes.

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Published on February 10, 2021
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