Vinit Phatak, managing director of the company, said: “We will be creating centralised maintenance facilities in Nashik”.
The development seems significant as according to a report by Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), a leading aviation industry think tank, Maharashtra recorded the highest per capita airport traffic in 2011. It also leads the country in the State Domestic Product (SDP) in the current year.
According to Sanjay Saihgal, vice president, Deccan Shuttle, Maharashtra offers a huge market as there are many tier II and III cities in the state. “We are looking for opportunities in many pockets, and Maharashtra is one among them,” he added.
According to industry insiders, similar services have been a hit in European countries and in the US. In fact, air travel is the preferred mode of transport to nearby smaller towns and cities in these countries.
However, Phatak remained cautious about the success of the plan. “The project might not be 100% profitable in the initial years and it will be a big risk for a small operator like us to take,” he said.
Moreover, Kapil Kaul, chief executive officer (CEO), CAPA said, “On the one hand, the government is stopping foreign airlines from investing in the aviation sector here. But small entrepreneurs, most of whom are likely to fail, are being handed out licenses to operate. This should change.”