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The self Made Titan of Indian Industry: Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar GopinathPioneer of Indias low-cost airline Air Deccan. Ex-army officer turned farmer thenentrepreneur, in 1997, along with another colleague from the army, foundedDeccan Aviation - Indias largest Private Helicopter Charter Company. In 2003 hebecame the pioneer in launching Indias first low-cost carrier Air Deccan - thecommon mans airline.A former army officer and an award winning Seri culturist, Capt G.R Gopinath,made his foray in the aviation sector way back in 1995; at a time when domesticaviation was monopolized by a handful of Full Service Airlines (FSA) and strictgovernment regulations were the norm. He identified the potential which thehelicopter charter business had in India.Combining his entrepreneurial skills and vision with the technical skills of his ex-army friends, he launched ‘Deccan Aviation’ – a dedicated, customer focused heli-charter Company. Today, Deccan Aviation, headquartered in Bangalore has 11helicopters and 2 small aircraft and operates out of nine major cities and locations,spanning the entire length and breadth of India. The company is India’s largest andmost reputed private air charter company including Sri Lanka.
Early life & EducationCaptain G. R. Gopinath, Founder and CEO at Deccan Aviation and Air Deccan is agraduate of the National Defense Academy and has served the Indian Army. He isconsidered the father of low cost air travel in India. He created a whole new marketwhen he launched India`s first low cost airline, Air Deccan.Capt G R Gopinath or Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath or `Gopi` as he isaffectionately called was born in a Hassan Iyengar family of the remote village ofGorur, Karnataka. Starting his studies in a village school, he completed his furtherschooling at Sainik (military) School, Bijapur. Thereafter he joined thedistinguished National Defence Academy and later graduated from the IndianMilitary Academy as a commissioned officer in the Indian Army. He then went onto serve the Army for eight years.Sometime in 1995, the Govt. of India started the reforms process by encouragingentrepreneurship. This inspired the entrepreneur in him to identify the tremendouspotential Helicopter Charter had in India. Along with an old Army friend hedecided to start a private sector commercial helicopter service in 1996. Startingwith just one helicopter, today Deccan Aviation boasts of 10 (Ten) Helicopters andtwo charter jets operating from eight major locations criss-crossing the entirelength of the country. This company is India’s most reputed private Air CharterCompany with a presence now in Srilanka also.
Never Give Up!For six years Captain Gopinath slept under a thatched roof and tried to make livingby growing bananas, cereals, coconuts, and vegetables in the government providedland when his ancestral land was eaten up by a dam. It was in 1985 that heswitched to silkworm rearing. And he had to wait for four more years to see somesuccess. Yes, thats ten long years of toil, and it didnt end with farming.When he launched Deccan Aviation, it took Captain Gopinath four years to get onehelicopter on lease. At every step he faced new bundle of challenges whether theyemanated from government controls, competition, or something else. His first AirDeccan flight caught fire and everyone wrote his company off. But he says thathes been an optimist who always refused to give up. He faced all challenges headon, to give India Air Deccan that boasts about fastest aircraft turnaround time, costefficiency, wide connectivity, and ticketing access.Pursue Your PassionCaptain Gopinath stresses that one should pursue his passion and never let fear offailing come in the way. The problems will come and failures are unavoidable buthaving single minded focus, determination, and ability to assimilate failures is theonly way forward, he believes. From army, farming and deals, to aviation,Gopinath has had one dream that is to make a difference and in spite of all odds hecontinues to pursue that.Captain Gopinaths Success MantrasSuccess hasnt been an easy sail for any successful person you speak to. CaptainGorur R Iyengar Gopinath, Chairman and Managing Director, Air Deccan didnthave a smooth flight either. A graduate from National Defense Academy, CaptainGopinath served in Indian Army for 8 years. He left army in 1979 when he was 27years old and ventured into farming.
After tasting success as a Seri culturist he moved on to launch his DeccanAviation, a heli-charter firm. The man gave India the lowest fare airlines, AirDeccan. Recently, he sold his Deccan Aviation to Kingfisher and now launchingyet another venture Deccan Cargo. He doesnt believe that there is any set rule forsuccess but reveals some mantras that has worked for him. Air Deccan Journey Leading the pack was Captain Gopinath’s Air Deccan that promised to revolutionize air travel by allowing everyone to fly by offering hitherto unheard of fares. Gopinath was a serial entrepreneur who had earlier been a commissioned officer in the Indian army. After discharge from the army he took up the challenge of farming barren land given to his family as compensation for land that had been submerged due to a dam project. Since it proved to be difficult to grow conventional crops in this land, Gopinath finally turned to sericulture and developed environmentally-friendly and innovative ways of cultivating silk worms. He won the Rolex Challenge award for his work, and his farm became a destination for governments and NGOs seeking innovations in farming. Gopinath entered the aviation business as a response to a pilot friend who did not have a job as he felt that there was good scope for a charter company in India given the distances and the economic development taking place. He started Deccan Aviation
in 1997 providing chartered helicopter and small aircraft across India. Many timespeople would approach Gopinath (at Deccan Aviation) to travel to smaller townsbut back away when they found out the price of the cha rter. He saw tremendouspotential for aviation in India if flying could be brought down to a reasonable price(“everyone can fly”). Inspired by the “low-cost” airline model pioneered bySouthwest Airlines in the United States (see Exhibit 2 for the Southwest model)and later emulated by other successful carriers such as JetBlue and Ryan Air, AirDeccan sought to cut the frills out of airline operations and pass on the benefit tocustomers.Starting in August 2003 with turboprop aircraft that connected small towns to largecities, Air Deccan soon expanded to Airbus A-320 jet operations connecting majorcities. Air Deccan offered a single class point-to-point service, did not serve freemeals or even free water on its flights, sold all tickets only through the internet orits call centre, did not pay commissions or give credit to travelagents (thereby avoiding the expensive process of managing credit andreconciliation with the travel trade), had limited staff, and outsourced as manyoperations as possible. To reach more customers, Air Deccan created a newnetwork of travel intermediaries who would sell their tickets. The airline also tiedup with a major oil company and the Department of Posts (Post Offices) toenhance reach.While Air Deccan was able to capture the imagination of the public and demandgrew rapidly for its services thanks to its throwaway fares, the airline itself wasplagued by operational problems as it sought to aggressively expand its networkand fleet size. In the process, it developed a reputation for delays, poor service andlack of reliability. While the established players – Indian Airlines, Jet and Sahara -initially ignored Air Deccan, the obvious demand for air travel at lower fares andthe urge to fill vacant seats prompted them to start discounting fares as well. Thistook the form of a limited number of seats sold at lower prices. Later, asother “low-cost” carriers entered the airline industry, discounting without the pre-purchase requirements of the Apex fares became the norm.By September 2007, AirDeccan had reached a fleet size of 40 aircraft (10 ATR-42, 8 ATR-72, and 22A-320 aircraft). It had achieved some success in connecting distant places – it wasthe only carrier offering service to twelve of its destinations, and one of only twocarriers offering services to six others.xii Air Deccan had 75 aircraft on order fordelivery by December 2012.
Awards & honors Rolex International Award for Enterprise - 1996, Entrepreneur of the year-National Academy of Management, Entrepreneurship Indomitable spirit of enterprise & outstanding achievements-Ernst & Young India - 2004 Centennial Excellence Award-Rotary International - 2004, Best Entrepreneur of the year-Hutti Gold Mines - Peoples skill foundation - 2005, Personality of the decade-K.G Foundation, Coimbatore - 2005 Business Leader Award-World HRD Congress - 2005, Startup entrepreneur of the year-NITIE - Entrepreneurship Excellence Awards - 2005
ABSTRACTAir Deccan is the amazing story of India’s first low-cost airline. It hasbecome one of the nation’s largest airlines in less than four years. Theyhave done this through a cleaver combination of innovation andoutsourcing. More importantly, from a strategic perspective, it givespowerful evidence to how technology can be a key factor in changingindustry dynamics, even in what were once considered fairly stable orconservative industry.While Air Deccan was able to capture the imagination of the public and demandgrew rapidly for its services thanks to its throwaway fares, the airline itself wasplagued by operational problems as it sought to aggressively expand its networkand fleet size. In the process, it developed a reputation for delays, poor service andlack of reliability.Business modelThe elements of Air Deccan’s “no-frills, low-cost” air carrier business modelinclude: Offering low fares to stimulate demand. We believe low fares will help Air Deccan generate new business throughout India – not only in new and under-served markets, but also in established markets that have so far failed to offer Indian middle-class consumers and cost-conscious businesses a choice of sufficiently cost-effective fares. Air Deccan targets leisure, small business and corporate customers, and seeks passengers from the Indian middle class as well as from the cost-conscious segments of more well off
classes. Selecting routes to stimulate demand. As of November 30, 2005, Air Deccan offers passengers a choice of 62 routes and 44 destinations. As at November 30, 2005, it is the only carrier providing service to 9 of its destinations and one of only two carriers providing service to 7 of its destinations. We believe that Air Deccan’s route strategy will help it grow new markets for air travel in India, as well as help it serve major urban centres with cost-effective fares. As it grows, we expect Air Deccan to increase the frequencies of its flights on certain existing routes, connect new city pairs among destinations it already serves and initiate service to new destinations, including some already served by other airlines and some currently not served byairlines at all. Reducing costs, increasing utilization. To help make its low-fare strategy as profitable as possible, Air Deccan strives to:(i) reduce the costs of its operations. It does so in part by seeking towhen such use can complicate operations, such as in passenger check-in,and outsource non-core business processes.(ii) provide a no-frills service.Air Deccan seeks to provide a simple service in exchange for its lowfares. Product and service extras that are notReasonably necessary to the core task of flying passengers safely and efficientlyare eliminated. Practices that many other airlines engage inregularly, such as providing help to passengers during layovers or offeringFrequent flier programmers, are not offered. Air Deccan passengersexperience a pared-down version of flying compared to what many otherairlines offer. But, they can pay less for an Air Deccan ticket and still get the basictransportation service they require.(iii) seek high aircraft utilization. Air Deccan employs dense, single-classseating arrangements in its aircraft and follows scheduling, ground handling andoperational strategies designed to keep its planes in the air as long as practicalevery day. These measures help Air Deccan to increase itsavailable seats flown. Air Deccan then uses load factor and yieldmanagement techniques in order to help maximise the revenues earnedfrom, and help minimise the operating costs associated with, those available
seats flown. providing a safe and on-time service. We consider the provision of safe travel tobe of essential importance to our service. We believe that customers also demandon-time service and expect a minimum of delays, flight cancellations, baggagehandling Increasing ancillary revenues. In addition to charging for tickets, Air Deccan earns revenues from charging for in-flight food and drink, selling advertising space on theInterior and exterior of its aircraft and in a number of other ways. The airlineregularly seeks to earn ancillary revenues where opportunities exist and thesimplicity of its operations will not be compromised.Routes Strategy and NetworkAir Deccan operates from six bases located in the largest urban centers in India:Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Air Deccan flies itstrunk routes among these bases, and flies routes that connect its bases with variousregional business, leisure and religious locations and state capitals, which are oftenunderserved. In certain cases, it also flies routes between regional locations.As part of its strategy of simplifying its operations in order to reduce costs andattract a high volume of passengers, Air Deccan flies point-to-point routes only.That is, it does not seek to time some of its flights to connect with other of its
flights, to deliver passengers at times convenient for connections with otherairlines’ flights or to facilitate the movement ofPassengers or baggage from one plane to another. Air Deccan flies point-to-pointroutes among major cities, where it seeks to capture a high volume of passengertraffic and where it provides a relatively high frequency of flights. It also fliespoint-to-point from these large cities to smaller regional destinations, and in certaincases point-to-point among regional destinations, in each case seeking to capture acost-effective passenger volume and to grow the demand on such routes as theirregional destinations grow in economic importance.
Cost managementIn order to help translate its low-fare strategy into positive results of operations,Air Deccan strives to reduce the costs of its operations. It does so in part byseeking to simplify operations, use technology when it can reduce costs, rejecttechnology where it can complicate operations and outsource non-core businessprocesses. Simplifying operations can remove layers of costs, not all of which areobvious. For example, by arranging flight schedules so that an aircraft ends eachcrew shift at the same airport where it started that crew shift, Air Deccan caneliminate the cost of putting crews up overnight away from their homes, reduce theneed for the airline to monitor crew locations between flights and streamlinemaintenance and other procedures related to the aircraft itself because the aircraftcomes back each day to the place where it started.In addition, Air Deccan has outsourced non-core operations in an effort to cut thecosts of such operations. The food and drink that is sold on board our aircraft isprovided by a third party supplier, as is the in-flight magazine and in-flight screenentertainment.Air Deccan also seeks to manage costs (and to create revenues) through sales andbarter exchanges for advertising space. A variety of internal aircraft spaces, such asstorage bins, headrests, tray tables, baggage tags and boarding passes, have beenleased for advertising. In addition, Air Deccan leased advertising space on theoutside surfaces of aircraft. The Air Deccan Internet site, electronic newsletter ande-brochure are also used for advertising space. In flight, the airline currently offersdrop-down TV screens which show freely provided video content and which canalso support advertising. Air Deccan provides an in-flight magazine to passengers.The magazine is outsourced at no cost to the airline and is revenue-generating on ashared basis through advertising sales. As a result of advertising barter exchanges,Air Deccan is also accumulating advertising time on national television channels,newspapers and a radio channel.
Working capital managementAir Deccan sells tickets almost entirely on the basis of payments made in advanceor within 24 hours of booking. As a result, it can reduce its need to financeworking capital requirements. Air Deccan’s ticket payment system also reducescustomer credit risk for the airline. For a description of Air Deccan’s sales anddistribution channels, see“Marketing and Distribution”. Air Deccan requiresworking capital to fund its payments for fuel, airport charges, personnel, aircraftlease payment finance and some maintenance operations. Air Deccan generallyreceives credit as a purchaser of goods and services for up to 15-30 days, except inthe case of aircraft lease payments, which are payable in advance. Advance ticketsales receipts fund a substantial portion of the working capital needs. Many airlineshave substantially less beneficial sales and payment arrangements. For example,airlines that deal with traditional travel agents or that take reservations through oneof the global GDS reservations systems may need to wait 30 days or more to bepaid for tickets sold.Marketing and distributionAir Deccan targets three market segments, which it refers to as follows: leisuretravelers, business travelers and corporate travelers. Each segment exhibitsdifferent characteristics and needs, and presents Air Deccan with differentopportunities to develop its business. Leisure travelers. Leisure travelers travelfor holiday / pleasure, or to visit friends and relatives, or make regular visits totheir native regions or for a religious pilgrimage. Leisure travel includes advance-planned travel, generally as part of a longer break and generally booked well inadvance and shorter trips, such as three-day weekends, which are planned closer tothe travel date and on which a leisure traveler may be willing to spendproportionately more. As a general matter, we believe leisure travelers are highlyprice conscious, making them an important market for Air Deccan.Weekend getaways are also becoming increasingly popular and many newdestinations have opened. We believe these trends are the result of a growth indisposable income coupled with a desire for an “upgraded” lifestyle.We believe that as Air Deccan’s India network grows, non-resident Indians whoreturn to India to visit family will become an integral part of our customer base. In
an effort to reach out to these non-resident Indians cost effectively, bookings canbe through www.indiatimes.com. Business travelers. Air Deccan uses the termbusiness travelers to refer to travelers working for small and medium enterprises,who engage in business travel at their own cost (as part owners in their business) orwho are otherwise highly cost- and time-conscious due to the size of the business,and are used to travelling in, for example, air-conditioned classes on trains.Because they pay for their travel themselves or work for a small cost-consciousorganization, we believe business travelers are likely to be careful with travelexpendituresAir Deccan’s is strongly focused about its value proposition, which is “low fares”.Air Deccan seeks to communicate the value proposition through: public relations, advertising, direct marketing and the Internet.Air Deccan regularly evaluates its branding and position in the marketplace inorder to constantly refine communications strategy to relate to its target customers.It targets both existing air travelers in its three customer market segments, focusingon the value and services it can provide to each segment, and customers whocurrently travel by rail or road, emphasizing that the airline’s low fares translateinto “flying made possible” and a “better lifestyle through air travel”.To help convey its desired brand message, Air Deccan has been granted the right touse Mr. R.K. Layman’s celebrated Indian mascot “the Common Man” as its brandambassador. We believe that the use of the Common Man helps communicate tothe mass of the Indian middle-class that Air Deccan is working hard to make thedream of routine air travel a reality for Indians, and helps those same peopleassociate themselves with that dream. Air Deccan directs customized marketinginitiatives at certain of its targeted customer segments. For leisure travelers, itoffers a ticket package called Value Flier, which provides multiple tickets useableover time by up to four members of the same immediate family. The airline is alsoin the process of developing leisure packages with bundled hotel offerings.Air Deccan advertises principally through media channels such as print, radio andbillboards and also, to a lesser extent, through television. The airline seeks to usetelevision advertising to build emotional connect and print and billboardadvertising to hammer out its “low fares” message. Air Deccan’s marketing effortsbenefit from sales and barter exchanges for advertising space.A variety of internal aircraft spaces, such as storage bins, headrests, tray tables,baggage tags and boarding passes are used for advertising. In addition, Air Deccanrents advertising space on the exterior surfaces of the aircraft. The Air Deccaninternet site, electronic newsletter and e-brochure are also used for advertisingspace. Air Deccan provides an in-flight magazine to passengers. The magazine is
outsourced at no cost to the airline and is revenue-generating on a shared basisthrough advertising sales. As a result of advertising barter exchanges, Air Deccanis also accumulating advertising time on national television channels, newspapersand a radio channel.Human ResourceAir Deccan places great emphasis on the selection and training of enthusiasticemployees with the potential to add value to our business and whom we believe fitin and contribute to our business culture. It has a preference for employees whohave an entrepreneurial spirit and are motivated. Air Deccan maintains a relativelyflat management structure to avoid wasteful layers of reporting and oversight.Pilots are generally in short supply in India. Under DGCA requirements, firstofficers (co-pilots) must be Indian. Also, non-Indian captains (pilots) must havepreviously flown 50 hours on the type of plane they are piloting. To address thepilot shortage caused in part by these rules, the DGCA has recently passed a newrule requiring pilots to give 6 months’ notice before leaving an airline. In addition,the mandatory retirement age for pilots has been increased to 65 years.In general, an airline needs five flight crews, or ten pilots, per aircraft, although AirDeccan can, for shorter periods, operate with four flight crews per aircraft. Weseek to employ a sufficient number of qualified pilots to be ready to staff newaircraft as they are deployed, at least four months in advance. Air Deccan hasinstituted a continuous sourcing project to recruit pilots. It also seeks to fill pilotpositions by training co-pilots, and, in the case of Airbus A320 pilot positions,existing ATR pilots. Air Deccan’s in-flight cabin crew members pay for their owninitial training. Their compensation is 20% fixed and 80% variable depending onhow often they fly and any additional incentives they earn. Air Deccan seeks tomake sure that in-flight service costs are kept to a minimum. Therefore, the foodand drinks served on board must be paid for by passengers.
Market Share of leading airlinesIndian domestic airlines, including Air Deccan, also compete against other formsof transport, including rail and road transport. Terrorist or other incidents that leadto the imposition of tighter security measures for air travel are just one of thepossible future developments that could hinder the competitive effectiveness of airtravel. The Indian Railways are the largest transport entity in India and in fiscalyear 2004, carried approximately 52 million passengers travelling first class and airconditioned second class.Any failure compete effectively, including in terms of pricing, marketing,operations, safety, security, providing services, helping the Indian market toembrace our no-frills product offering or otherwise, could have a material adverseeffect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In particular, itis to be expected that as competition in the Indian market increases and low-fareairlines compete head-to-head more often, competing airlines may engage insignificant fare reductions and discounting, or “price wars”. It is difficult to predicthow long or how aggressive any such price wars might be, or how well or poorlyAir Deccan could sustain its business, financial condition and results of operationsduring any such price wars.
The Indian airline industry is very competitive and we expect competition toincrease in the near future. Air Deccan’s market position will depend upon ourability to anticipate and respond to various competitive factors affecting theindustry, including pricing strategies and the emergence and growth of other lowfare carriers. We expect that increased competition may further shorten supplies ofpilots and engineers, making them costlier to employ.Currently, Air Deccan’s most direct competitors are the airlines Spice Jet and GoAir. SpiceJet is a relatively new entrant into the low-cost carrier market. GoAir, aprivately owned low-cost carrier, began operations on November 4, 2005. Othercompetitors include the Indian Government-owned Indian Airlines (including itssubsidiary Alliance Air) and the private companies Jet Airways and Air Sahara. Allof these airlines are full-service carriers offering flights on domestic routes andcertain international routes. In addition, Kingfisher has recently begun a domesticairline that currently appears to be following a full-service strategy.Furthermore, Paramount Airways, an all business class, economy-fare scheduledairline, commenced operations in September 2005. There are also variouspublished reports of other airlines being set up or commencing operations as eitherfull service or low-cost airlines. As and when such airlines commence operations,they would compete with us and other existing airline operators.
Growth Analysis - Year on Year 1. No. of destination 2. No. of flights
Merger with Kingfisher AirlinesAir Deccan airlines merged with Kingfisher Airlines and decided to operate as asingle entity from April, 2008. It would be known by a different name-KingfisherAviation. The merger is based on recommendations of Accenture, the globalconsulting firm. KPMG was asked to do the valuation and the swap ratio wasdecided accordingly. The merger came through on as Vijay Mallya fromKingfisher airlines bought 26% of the stake in Air Deccan. The unification of thetwo carriers had to be sanctioned not only by the two panels, but also by theinstitutional investors, independent directors, and other shareholders. Air Deccanhad four independent directors-which included prominent persons like IIM ProfThiru Naraya, Tennis player Vijay Amritraj, and A K Ganguly, Former MDNabisco Malaysia.After the merger, the company has a combined fleet of 71 aircrafts, connects 70destinations and operates 550 flights in a day. The combined entity has a marketshare of 33%. Gopinath would continue as the Executive Chairman and Malaywould take charge as Vice Chairman. The charter service of the respective airlineswould be hived off and operate as a separate entity. Post merger, KingFisher wouldoperate as a single largest (private) airline in the sub-continent. Besides,operational synergies (engineering, inventory management and ground handlingservices, maintenance and overhaul), the management and staff of both the airlineswould be integrated. They would be stronger vis-a vis lessors, aircraftmanufacturers (Airbus in this case), and will also spend less on training andemployees.
Costs would also reduce which is associated with maintenance of aircraft. Thesavings in cost would be lower by about 4-5% (Rs 300 crores) (Business Standard,June 3, 2007, 4) which is a large sum. It would result in a saving of 3 billion in thefirst year itself through the sharing of aircraft and workers. (Business Standard,June 13, 2007, p-13.) Further, by devising a more optimal routing strategy it couldhelp in rationalizing the fares.Before the merger Air Deccan recorded a net loss of Rs 213.17 crores on revenueof Rs 437.82 cores for 2006-07. The company had also raised Rs 400 croresthrough an IPO in May 2006.The merger will create a more competitive business in scale and scope to emergeas market leader. Air Deccan began its operations with one aircraft and with oneflight but after the alignment with Kingfisher Airlines, has a total fleet of seventyone aircrafts-41 Airbus and 30 ATR aircraft (Business Standard, June 7, 2007, p-8). It operates 537 flights (Business Standard, June 3, 2007, p-4) and covers 70destinations. It offers point to point service. IAfter the merger, it is expected that Kingfisher will focus more on the internationalroutes while Air Deccan will give it a wider domestic reach. Also Air Deccan plansto continue as a low cost carrier while Kingfisher will function as a full-servicecarrier. There will be immense synergies as both operate Airbus. The average ageof the Air Deccan fleet is 6.1 years as of Apr 2006.* Air Deccan operates a fleet of43 aircraft comprising 20 brand new Airbus A320 aircraft and 23 ATR aircraft.The Airbus aircraft serve metro routes while ATR are utilized for Tier II and IIIcites and also for small airports. The newly formed company plans to revisit theirfleet plan in coordination with each other to rationalize the fleet structure. Workingon these lines the company has already placed orders from the European aircraftmajor, Airbus Industries for about 90 aircrafts. These include five of the largestaircraft-A380, the first of which is slated to be delivered to Kingfisher by 2011.It is also India’s largest private sector helicopter charter company, which pioneeredhelitourism in India. It offers point to point service. It has a secondary hub atChennai.*Deccan Aviation is the largest private sector helicopter charter companyin India. It has a fleet of 12 helicopters and small aircraft deployed in 8 basesacross India. These bases are at Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Ranchi, Hyderabad,Surat, Katra and Colombo (Sri Lanka). There are many changes that have takenplace. This period of consolidation in the sky gives a good signal to the airlinesindustry. It may lead to reducing the over-capacity existing in the market and
thereby stabilizing prices, increasing yields and bringing down costs. The era ofcheap fares might also come to an end.