No takers for Captain GR Gopinath’s second ‘Simply Fly’ plan

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January 10, 2013

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Captain GR Gopinath, the man who sold the dream of 'flying' to the ordinary Indian with his Simply Fly Air Deccan, is finding it tough to launch another mainline Indian carrier as the civil aviation ministry remains unconvinced about the need for another airline in India's crowded skies.

January 10, 2013

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Captain GR Gopinath, the man who sold the dream of 'flying' to the ordinary Indian with his Simply Fly Air Deccan, is finding it tough to launch another mainline Indian carrier as the civil aviation ministry remains unconvinced about the need for another airline in India's crowded skies.

Govt skeptical about issuing a fresh licence to him as a new airline will trigger a price war and jeopardise the viability of the existing ones in India's crowded skies.

A top civil aviation ministry official, who preferred anonymity, told ET that the government is skeptical about issuing a fresh licence to Gopinath as a new airline will trigger a price war, jeopardising the viability of the existing ones.

"This industry needs deep pockets. There's lack of clarity on how he will fund his venture," a senior official from the aviation ministry, who declined to be named, said.

Emails and text messages sent to Gopinath for his comments remained unanswered.

Gopinath's regional airline venture which started in August last, and for which he still holds a licence, is also in trouble. He has been tapping several private equity investors of late though nothing much has happened.

Gopinath's Deccan Charters (charter service business), the second of his airline businesses after Air Deccan, is also on the brink of closure and the company has reportedly asked its employees to look out. Indeed, the very low-cost pricing that Gopinath peddled in early 2000 and set off a price war in the skies, is now a thing of the past, and nobody's ready to play that game just yet.


Courtesy: ET

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