India's first low-priced carrier Air Deccan, which ceased operations after being acquired by the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, took wing again as a commuter airline with its maiden flight taking off for Jalgaon from here on Saturday.
The flight, DN 1320, took off for Jalgaon, around 400km from Mumbai in northern Maharashtra, from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
In the first phase of operations, Air Deccan plans to connect Jalgaon, Nashik and Kolhapur with Mumbai and Pune. Besides, the airline also plans to connect Nashik and Kolhapur.
In the first phase, it will operate 36 flights per week.
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The website has sold out all tickets under the Mumbai- Jalgaon route for the next few days.
Maharashtra's Revenue and Public Works Minister Chandrakant Patil, the Joint Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Lalit Gupta, the airline's Chairman and Managing Director Captain G.R. Gopinath, along with others were aboard the maiden flight, Air Deccan said in a statement.
This paves the way for the airline, which till now was holding a non-scheduled operator permit, to fly on regional routes under the regional connectivity scheme that caps fares at Rs2,500 for an under-one-hour flight.
"Udan" is the regional connectivity scheme of the central government aiming to make air travel affordable and widespread in all regions of the country.
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A ticket for a 90-minute Mumbai-Jalgaon flight is priced at Rs 2,250 inclusive of taxes for 50 per cent of the seats, while for the remaining seats it would vary in line with the market pricing.
Air Deccan had first launched its operations in August 2003 with its first flight from Bengaluru to Hubballi, about 400 km to the northwest of Bengaluru.
The company had merged with the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines in 2007 had later ceased its operations in 2008 owing to losses.
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