India's new airline Fly91 reveals first look as it gears up to fly by winter

By Gourab Das, The Economic Times | June 02, 2023

Fly91, a new airline helmed by top aviation veterans, today revealed its first look with the launch of the brand logo and tagline - Bharat Unbound, taking a step closer to its plan to hit the Indian skies by this winter.

The company also updated its website to a new look that provides information on the company and even has a 'join us' section that invites applications for several roles including pilots, cabin crew, engineering, airport operations, or in the corporate department.

Fly91 said the logo - a flying butterfly - is a symbol of India's mesmerising beauty and vibrant diversity.

"A symbol of India's mesmerising beauty and vibrant diversity, our wings embody the promise of opportunity, guiding you through ethereal landscapes and soaring ever closer to your dreams. So spread your wings with FLY91, and let us connect you to the Bharat of boundless opportunity," it said.

The airline said it connects every Indian to their dreams, passions, aspirations, adventures and beyond.

Fly91 is a regional carrier and it seeks to enhance air connectivity from tier 2 and tier 3 towns across India.

The airline, promoted by Harsha Raghavan, the former head of Fairfax India and Manoj Chacko, former executive vice president of defunct Kingfisher Airlines, aims to start flying in the October-December quarter. The airline will have the new Goa airport built by GMR as its main base, while the coastal state will also house the headquarter of an airline for the first time.

Earlier this year, Fly91 received the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and it is now working to get an Air Operator's Permit (AOP) from the DGCA.

Raghavan and Chacko's company Just Udo Aviation Private Limited is the parent company of the airline and has raised capital of Rs 200 crore, ET had reported earlier.

Fly91's entry into the world's third-largest civil aviation market comes at a time when the Asian country is aiming to become the leading aviation market globally by the turn of the decade, while at the same time it has seen certain airlines hit the air pocket.

Wadia group-owned Go First has filed for insolvency resolution and the aircraft are parked idle at airports now, while lessors are pushing hard to take them away. The fall of Go First marks the first major airline collapse in India since Jet Airways filed for bankruptcy in 2019. Earlier, state-run Air India had ran into trouble with a massive debt pile and increasing losses, forcing the government to sell it off to the Tata group.

SpiceJet, which had steered out of a rough patch around a decade back after a change in ownership, is again facing threats of a court battle from its lender and some lessors want to deregister planes.

Fly91 plans to have a fleet of ATR-72 aircraft of 76 seats and will start operations with three planes and will scale up to six aircraft in the first year. It has plans to fly from states to states but is not keen on flying with Airbus or Boeing to save fuel burn and add to profitability strength.

The new airline also plans to fly to under-served and unserved airports where the VAT rates on fuel are lower.

"Despite the considerable growth in air traffic over the past decade, the founders remain steadfast in their vision to enable the next 100 million Indians take flight, with focus on regional towns in India," the company said.

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