New Delhi: Two new start-up aviation firms, Avicore Aviation Pvt. Ltd and ZAV Airways Pvt. Ltd, aim to kick off operations in the next six months investing nearly Rs800 crore for a share of a rapidly growing market for passenger, cargo and air-taxi services.
Operating licences have been approved for the two firms, said a senior civil aviation ministry official, who preferred not to be identified.
According to executives at the two firms, both are funded by non-resident Indians.
The licence approval makes Avicore the second cargo airline cleared by the government in as many months. ZAV is the fourth among so-called regional airlines that have received approvals since early December. Star Aviation Pvt. Ltd, MDLR Airlines Pvt. Ltd and Jagson Airlines Ltd are the other three with approvals.
Avicore is expected to join start-up firms Flyington Freighters Ltd and Aviation Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd’s QuikJet-branded service entering air cargo services soon. The country’s only dedicated cargo airline Blue Dart Express Ltd has said it too will be expanding its operations.
Avicore, as reported by Mint in October, will be based out of Nagpur, which is being developed as India’s cargo hub, and lease or buy Boeing Co.-made 737s that can carry about 15-17 tonnes of freight. Its chief executive officer Shankar Devarajan said the process of acquiring flight slots and parking bays at the airports will begin once it get written approvals.
Kolkata-based ZAV, too, expects to apply for slot permissions at the airports soon. Kishor Zavery, chairman of ZAV, said the regional airline will buy two Bombardier Inc.-made CRJ-900s and two ATR 72-500 planes, besides six Textron Inc. Bell-made helicopters for heli-taxi services.
“This is West Bengal’s first (regional) airline and will be taking off on 14 April to coincide with the Bengali new year,” Zavery said estimating an investment of Rs450 crore in the first phase of operations with Kolkata as its base.
The airline expects to connect 17 sectors in the eastern and the north-eastern region, including Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bagdogra, Ranchi, Dibrugarh, Aizwal and Dimapur with a low-fare service.