Thursday, June 13, 2024

Star Air Introduces Embraer E175, Sets New Standard With Business Class On Regional Routes

By Aritra Banerjee

Opening Salvo: The E175 Takes Flight

Indian skies welcomed a new player this May, as Star Air, India’s largest regional carrier, operated its inaugural flight with the Embraer E175, marking the first introduction of this regional jet into the Indian market. On the morning of May 13th, Flight S5 151 departed Bengaluru International Airport (BLR), ushering in a new era of regional aviation in India with its arrival at Hyderabad (HYD) and later at Jamnagar (JGA).

A Game-Changer On The Horizon

The advent of the E175 heralds a significant shift in India’s regional air travel dynamics. Known for its compact design and advanced technology, the E175 has been touted as a game-changer by Captain Simran Singh Tiwana, CEO of Star Air.

Captain Simran Singh Tiwana, CEO, Star Air

“This aircraft is a game-changer for our regional operations, and we look forward to providing our passengers with a superior travel experience,” Tiwana remarked during the inaugural flight event. The successful proving flight, which took place on May 9th, serves as a testament to Star Air’s commitment to safety and operational excellence.

Enhancing Regional Connectivity

The acquisition of the E175 by Star Air is part of a broader strategy to enhance regional connectivity and increase accessibility to areas that are currently underserved. The initial flight schedule will see the E175 conducting three weekly flights on the Bengaluru-Hyderabad-Jamnagar route until May 23rd, after which it will increase to a daily flight. The airline currently operates two of four E175s as part of a leasing deal, marking a significant milestone as the first airline in India to operate the popular regional jet.

Premium Seating: A New Standard In Regional Air Travel

In a departure from the norm in Indian regional aviation, Star Air’s E175s are notable for introducing a business class seating option on its routes. Introducing a premium seating category sets a new standard for regional air travel. Shrenik Ghodawat, Director of Star Air, echoed this sentiment: “With the introduction of E175, Star Air becomes the only operator offering a business class product on UDAN-RCS routes, setting a new standard for regional air travel.”

Fleet Expansion & Future Prospects

The E175’s range advantage over the ERJ-145 allows Star Air to add much-needed capacity to its network and explore new route possibilities. Star Air’s five ERJ-145s fleet is set to be bolstered with four E175s, effectively doubling its capacity. The airline plans to expand to 20 destinations next year and increase frequencies on existing routes. This ambitious growth strategy aligns with the airline’s continuous efforts toward improvement and its commitment to India’s UDAN-RCS program, which aims to develop the country’s underserved regional routes.

A New Star In The Sky

The E175 promises to catalyse Star Air’s growth trajectory as the airline embarks on this exciting new chapter. Its inaugural flight was celebrated with much fanfare, including a lamp-lighting ceremony by CEO Simran Singh Tiwana, and its journey was eagerly tracked by aviation enthusiasts and media personnel alike. With the E175 in its fleet, Star Air is poised to redefine regional air travel in India, bringing a new level of comfort, service, and accessibility to passengers across the country.

Aritra Banerjee is a Senior Correspondent at Indian Aerospace & Defence

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