The promoters of VRL Logistics are planning to start a regional airline. Company chairperson Vijay Sankeshwar and managing director Anand Sankeshwar would set up a separate company to launch the airline.
“We intend to promote this new airline and induct a professional management to manage the day-to-day operations and grow this business,” they said in a letter to the stock exchanges on Monday.
VRL Logistics is headquartered in Hubbali, Karnataka. It runs passenger and goods transport as well as parcel delivery service. It has an annual turnover of Rs 1,700 crore. It also has an air charter division based in Bengaluru and the company operates two Premier 1A jets. The air charter business earned about Rs 12 crore in FY16.
At present, there are three regional airlines in India — Air Costa, Air Pegasus and TruJet.
Coimbatore-based Air Carnival has just received its ATR-42 aircraft and is awaiting regulatory nod to start regional operations. Another airline, Flyeasy, has also been waiting in the wings to start operations.
All the functioning regional airlines are based in southern India and two of them are based in non-metros. Air Costa is headquartered in Vijayawada.
National airlines such as Air India and SpiceJet, too, are looking to grow their regional operations by expanding fleet and adding new destinations. Air India's regional arm Alliance Air plans to induct ten ATR-72 aircraft on lease till next March.