By Staff Correspondent
New regional airline Fly91 has received a no-objection certificate from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, according to officials. The carrier, named after India’s telephonic code +91, will be operated by Just Udo Aviation, a venture promoted by a former senior executive of Kingfisher Airlines, Manoj Chacko, and former head of Fairfax India, Harsha Raghavan, among others. Fly91 will have its headquarters in Goa and will operate a fleet of ATR 72-600 aircraft with an initial capital of INR 200 crore ($27 million). The airline aims to commence operations in the December quarter of this year with two or three aircraft, primarily flying between Tier II and III cities.
Fly91 intends to address the under-served markets due to either the lack of bigger aircraft or insufficient passenger demand. The airline plans to have six planes by the end of the first year of operations and 12 by the end of the second year. The airline will focus on the short-haul segment (45-90 minute flight duration) and plans to connect around 11 cities in the first year of operations. Fly91’s cost structure will be low-cost, and it will have a single-type fleet, providing a good value product leveraging majorly on digitisation. Passengers will have the option to purchase meals and beverages on board.
Fly91’s primary investor is Convergent Finance, launched by former Fairfax India CEO Harsha Raghavan, with other investors also backing the venture. The airline is awaiting security clearance for its directors and a DGCA license to begin operations. This process typically takes around 3-4 months. Fly91’s launch comes amid the expansion of the Indian government’s regional connectivity scheme known as Udan, which has connected over 450 unserved and underserved towns since its launch in 2017. Fly91 is currently targeting cities in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka.