Monday, January 4, 2010

Wings on fire

Paramount Airways is all set to enter the big aviation league. An airline that has been operating what it calls an all-executive-class fleet, is now in final stages of talks with Bombardier and ATR. In not more than two months, by February 2010, Bombardier's Q400s or ATR's turbo props - 10 aircraft in all - will adorn the fleet of the south-Indian carrier. The target for paramount is simple. All ground work is through to operate the turbo props predominantly in Tier II and Tier III cities. Some of the cities that have been shortlisted are Pondicherry, Mysore, Salem, Bellary, Rajamundry etc., all in south India to start with. The number of destinations the airline covers will then increase from the current 17 to 40 by 2011.With a bare minimum fleet of 5 aircraft (all Embraer) the company has maintained the best passenger load factor among all airlines in the country. Paramount is also the only Airline in India that have seen Rs 79 cr profits as of March 2009. Come October 2010, when the airline completes 5 years of its operations, it will spread its wings overseas. Negotiations are already complete with Airbus to buy 10 of their 321 aircraft. The planes are to be acquired at a list price of USD 90 million. The deal is to be funded by the European Central Bank through a 12 year loan.The Airbus 321s will all be used for the company's international flights. Initially, Paramount will fly to South-East Asian destinations like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Penang and Middle East designations like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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