Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Regional Airline To Take Off Dec. 25

Aviation Daily Dec 01 , 2010 , p. 11
Neelam Mathews

India on Dec. 25 will get its regional carrier—Jagson Airlines—which will take advantage of a government break in parking and navigation fees by operating its AVRO RJ-85 with only 80 seats.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation introduced its regional air transport policy in August 2007, when a worldwide recession put plans for launching regional services on hold. India introduced the policy for scheduled regional air transport services because there was a need to promote air connectivity between non-metro and remote airports.

The RJ-85 was chosen following its ability to land on short runways. “It flies at twice the speed of the present ATR-42s being run on the route by full-service and budget carriers and with no weather restrictions,” CEO Koustav Dhar told Aviation Week.

To take advantage of the government rule that permits the waiving of parking and navigation charges for aircraft weighing less that 40 tons and with fewer than 80 seats, Jagson plans to reduce seats on the 94-seat aircraft by putting 72 in economy and eight in business class. The refurbished seats have a larger pitch than any other carrier in India—46 inches in business and 34 inches in economy
Jagson also will pay only a 4.5% fuel surcharge instead of 30% paid by operators of larger aircraft.
“Regional is the sector for all to look at as 45% of the traffic exists on that sector at the moment. There is too much crowding of the major city-pairs,” says Dhar.

According to Ministry of Civil Aviation rules, a regional airline must have three aircraft at the end of its first year of operations and five by the end of the second year.

The carrier has signed a letter of interest with BAE for an RJ100 108-seater to be delivered in March and an RJ-85 for delivery in December 2011.

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