Mumbai: India’s first low-cost carrier Air Deccan, which ceased operations after being acquired by erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, had its maiden run on Saturday with a UDAN flight from Mumbai to Jalgaon.

The Air Deccan flight DN 1320 took off for Jalgaon, around 400 km from Mumbai, from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Mumbai afternoon.

“It’s a sense of great beginning. A sense of being fortunate that Air Deccan is taking off again," Air Deccan chairman Capt. G.R. Gopinath said.

There was a dream of taking flying to every possible corner of the country, which did not come to fruition because of Air Deccan’s merger with Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, he said. “Now I have the opportunity to relaunch operations across the country," said Gopinath.

The flight was inaugurated by Maharashtra PWD minister Chandrakant Patil along with Gopinath.

The maiden flight, however, was marred by delay. The aircraft took off at around 2.55pm instead of the scheduled departure of 1.20pm. Air Deccan’s strategic partners Shaishav Shah of Ahmedabad-based GSEC Ltd and Himanshu Shah of Monarch Networth Capital as well as senior DGCA officials were on-board the inaugural flight.

In the first phase of operations, Air Deccan plans to provide connectivity to Jalgaon, Nashik and Kolhapur from Mumbai and Pune. Air Deccan had bagged 34 routes in the first phase of bidding for UDAN regional connectivity scheme, which caps fares at Rs2,500 for a flight under hour duration.

UDAN is short for “Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik", which can be loosely translated as “Flights for the Common Man".

For the Jalgaon flight, Air Deccan has pegged fares at Rs2,250 for 50% of the seats, to be operated under the regional connectivity scheme, while the ticket price for the remaining nine will be Rs4,500 per seat, an official said.

Air Deccan has deployed a 19-seater plane, Beachcraft B-1900D (18 passengers and one crew member) on the Mumbai-Jalgaon flight. The same aircraft will come back to Mumbai and then fly to Nashik this evening. Flight operators, awarded routes under the UDAN scheme, are entitled to a subsidy to keep fares low for the passengers. An airline has to set aside 50% of its seating capacity at the discounted fares.

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