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Deccan to buy 30 Airbus 320s
BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi | December 21, 2004 09:26 IST
Low-cost carrier Air Deccan has finalised a deal with European aircraft maker Airbus to acquire 30 aircraft. The list price of the order, which is for Airbus A320 airplanes, is about $1.8 billion. The deal is likely to be announced on Tuesday.
G R Gopinath, Managing Director, Deccan Aviation, the company that runs Air Deccan, said the purchase plan would be either for a confirmed order for 20 aircraft and 10 options that could be converted to confirmed orders later or a confirmed order for 25 aircraft and five options.
This is the second-largest order placed with Airbus out of India, Indian Airlines' order for 31 aircraft in 1989 being the largest.
However, Indian Airlines could top that as it is negotiating with Airbus to buy 43 aircraft. Airbus has also bagged an order for 18 aircraft from Kingfisher Air.
As part of its growth plan, Air Deccan is targeting a fleet size of about 60 aircraft over the next four years from the present fleet size of 15 aircraft.
"In the long term, we must have the fleet size of a mid-sized airline. We will have about 30 turboprop aircraft and another 30 Airbus planes in the fleet. This will help us cover the entire country," Gopinath said.
According to Gopinath, Air Deccan will require about Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion) for its operational requirements, which it is expected to raise by diluting equity.
As per the immediate timetable for fleet acquisition, Air Deccan will induct two Airbus aircraft in its fleet in February and another two in September. "By March next year the fleet size will be 17. We will also be retiring some of the older aircraft in the fleet," he said.
Air Deccan is planning for around 120 flights a week by March 2005. Gopinath said he planned to add 100 additional flights every year.
Besides, Air Deccan is starting services to smaller centres in northern India. It will fly to Dehradun next month. It is also starting services to Agra, Jaipur and Kanpur.
The airline will also introduce its Delhi-Chennai direct flight soon. It is also starting services to Ahmedabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram from the metros.