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Mumbai: Air Deccan, which recently commenced operations with flight services to Jalgaon, has forged a partnership with Air Odisha, under which the two carriers will share each other’s network and resources to minimise costs.

While Air Deccan received the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) is nod last week,allowing it to fly on designated routes under the government’s regional connectivity scheme, Air Odisha is expected to receive its flying permit some time mid-January next year.

“We have combined to get economy of scale in various areas including flight operations and training. Air Deccan which has experience and expertise (in running an airline) will handle all that at the back end,” Air Deccan chief Capt. G.R. Gopinath told PTI in Mumbai.

He said the areas of cooperation covers aircraft procurement, leases, maintenance, IT systems, pilot and engineer training and flight operations, inventory, among others. Both Air Deccan and Air Odisha had bagged 34 and 50 routes, respectively, in the first round of the bidding for Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (Udan) scheme in March this year along with Alliance Air, TrueJet and SpiceJet.

The scheme seeks to make flying more affordable for the masses with fares capped at Rs2,500 per hour of flight. It also aims at providing air services to unconnected and remote areas as well as enhance connectivity to underserved regions. The airlines that win rights to operate UDAN flights are required to offer half of their seating capacity at discounted rates in return for which they get government subsidy.

Also Read: UDAN flights from Jharsuguda from February 2018

Gopinath had last week said that Air Deccan along with its strategic partner Air Odisha, plans to operate 108 daily flights from across 67 airports in the next five to six months, operated by a combined fleet of 12 aircraft.

Air Deccan, which has now started services under the scheduled commuter airline’s category, was the country’s first budget carrier, founded by Capt. Gopinath in the early 2000s. But in 2007 he decided to merge Air Deccan, which was the largest domestic carrier at that time operating to over 70 destinations with a fleet of 45 aircrafts, with the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines.

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