Mumbai: Religare Voyages Ltd, which runs Air Mantra, has stopped operations of the regional airline eight months after its start because of poor bookings.
“The operations are temporarily suspended. We are not able to take booking as there is no flight schedule at least in the month of April,” said a customer care executive at the airline. He did not say when the airline will be able to accept bookings.
Sandeep Bhatt, chief executive of Religare Voyages, declined to comment, saying that he “is in a middle of a meeting”. In July, Bhatt had said that Air Mantra has a full-fledged fleet plan for buying turboprop jets including ATRs and Bombardier Q400s.
According to the website of Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air Mantra had a flight cancellation rate of 13.3% in November, while overall cancellation rate for that month stood at 1.1%, official data show.
Air Mantra started operations in July with daily flights connecting Amritsar and Chandigarh. It became the first regional airline to be launched in India in five years. MDLR Airlines Pvt. Ltd, the only regional carrier that started operations, stopped flying on 1 October, 2009.
Air Mantra, which has two 17-seater Beechcraft 1900D aircraft, was started with the intention of serving northern India. Regional airlines are not allowed to fly crowded routes connecting large cities. Airlines with non-scheduled licences are not allowed to publicize their flight schedules the way firms such as Jet Airways (India) Ltd and Air India Ltd can.