NEW DELHI: An America-based entrepreneur is all set to join the burgeoning list of wannabe Indian aviators. But this former pilot-cum-hotelier plans to go a step further and float an international low-fare airline that would mark its debut with direct flights between US and India.......
Rahul Puranik backed by equity investors from America and UK has sought the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) nod to set up this new airline venture, christened Sapphire Airways. "It will be a venture with $100 million start-up equity capital.
The airline, he said, intends to use the Indo-US Open Sky arrangement to start direct flights between India and America within the next 15-18 months.
"It will be a full-service airline offering discount fare travel. We intend to launch the airline with a direct service from US to India, connecting at least four metros Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. In the next phase, our plan is to expand to Africa and Asia, to connect Nairobi, South Africa, Dubai and China," Puranik said.
The airline, which has appointed Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation to conduct its project feasibility, has shortlisted Boeing 777 and Airbus A340 as the preferred aircraft for its start-up fleet.
Times of India
very interesting developing. He beat Mallaya to it!! Maybe VM can invest in his venture.
[Edited 2006-06-16 06:29:36]