With revenues in the aviation sector having drastically reduced amid the 21-day lockdown imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Deccan announced on Sunday that it is ceasing its operations until further notice and all employees are being put on sabbatical without pay with immediate effect.
In an email to his employees, Air Deccan CEO Arun Kumar Singh said, "In view of the recent global and domestic issues and subsequent directive by the Indian regulator (to suspend all flights till April 14), Air Deccan has no choice but to cease its operations until further notice."
"With heavy heart, I am also compelled to inform that all existing employees of Air Deccan (permanent, temporary and contractual) are being put on sabbatical without pay with immediate effect," he added in the email, which has been accessed by the PTI.
India’s first low-cost carrier Air Deccan, which ceased operations after being acquired by erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, took off wings again as a commuter airline with its maiden flight taking off for Jalgaon from Mumbai in late 2017.
There was a dream of taking flying to every possible corner of the country, which did not come to fruition because of Air Deccan's merger with the Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, he said. "Now I have the opportunity to relaunch operations across the country," said the pioneer of low-cost aviation in India Captain Gopinath, who joined Air Deccan as Chairman.
Air Deccan had bagged 34 routes in the first phase of bidding for Udan scheme, which caps fares at Rs 2,500 for a flight under one hour duration.