Centre-run Alliance Air on Friday said it will start operating flights between Gujarat’s Keshod to Mumbai from Saturday. This will be the first flight to operate from the Keshod airport, it stated.
The Mumbai-Keshod-Mumbai flight will operate three times a week on a 70-seater ATR-72 aircraft, the airline’s statement said. Keshod is an upcoming tourist destination located in Junagarh District of western Gujarat and is surrounded by the Arabian sea and beautiful forests.
Regional airline Alliance Air has become an independent business unit under the Central government’s control. Alliance Air was formerly part of Air India prior to the latter’s disinvestment. At present, it is operated as a division under the Air India Asset Holdings Pvt Ltd (AIAHL). It was founded in 1996 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of then Indian Airlines, which later merged with Air India. The airline mainly operates on domestic regional routes as part of the government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme. Currently, it has 19 aircraft — 18 ATR-72s and 1 Dornier-228 — which it operates on over 100 regional routes connecting Tier-II and Tier-III cities. In terms of financials, the airline had earned an operating profit of Rs 65 crore in 2019-20 on a revenue of Rs 1,182 crore.
Notably, the Centre now has Alliance Air as the only airline under its control.
“Alliance Air, from 15th April 2022, will no longer be part of Air India after its disinvestment, and will be run as an independent business unit under the government of India," the airline said in a statement. The airline will now sell its tickets under the Alliance Air banner with flight code ‘9I-XXX’.
The airline is headed by Chief Executive Officer Vineet Sood. Last year, Tata Group bought the debt-ridden Air India from the Central government by placing a bid of over Rs 18,000 crore at an auction. On January 27, 2022, it took over the full control of Air India. On Thursday, Air India had said that Alliance Air is no longer its subsidiary.
In a tweet, the airline had said on Thursday: “Passengers holding tickets of Air India with a four-digit flight number starting with ‘9’ or 3-digit flight number starting with ‘9I’ may please be informed that these bookings belong to Alliance Air.
“Bookings or queries related to Alliance Air will not be handled by Air India from April 15, 2022."
(WITH PTI AND IANS INPUTS)
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