February 26, 2009

Paramount Airways to fly to Kolkata by June

Kolkata: After entering the southern and western markets of the country, private carrier Paramount Airways is now planning to launch services to the eastern sector by June. “We are looking at June to begin operations to and from Kolkata,” the Chennai-based company’s managing director M. Thiagarajan told the media here Wednesday. Thiagarajan said initially the airlines will operate two to three flights between Chennai and Kolkata. “Later, we will connect Kolkata with all the southern cities via Chennai.”

He said his company was ready to get into the northeast too. “For instance, we can launch a service to Dibrugarh.” Thiagarajan met West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Wednesday. “He requested me to operate services from Coochbehar, and promised all support.”
The airline now operates from three destinations in western India - Pune, Goa and Ahmedabad, and is the market leader in the south, with a 26 percent share.

He said by 2010, Paramount will operate flights in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. “Post-2011, we will look at flying on international routes,” Thiagarajan said. The company now has five aircraft, and has plans to buy three more by March-end. By 2009-end, the total number of aircraft will go up to 11.

“We will buy 10 numbers of either Boeing 787 or Airbus 350 once we start operating on the international route,” he said. Thiagarajan claimed that while the other airlines lost 8-10 percent of their passengers last year due to the slowdown, the number of Paramount’s passengers increased 5-6 percent.

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