Monday, July 18, 2016

Welcome Air Carnival, India's fourth regional airline

by Soumen Mukherjee
The southern sky turns pink today with the launch of Air Carnival. The Coimbatore based new regional airline just commences its commercial operations with its inaugural flight took off from Coimbatore Airport at 7:30 am and landed at Chennai Airport around around 9:00 am then it flew onward to Madurai. India Aviation Forum welcomes the new entrant and wishes best for its future. Air Carnival (IATA code: 2S), promoted by the Coimbatore based CMC group, becomes India's 14th carrier (with active AOP) and fourth regional carrier following Air Costa, Air Pegasus and TruJet. Notably, all four regional carrier are based in South India and Chennai is common in all four network. This highlights the prospect of Govt's regional connectivity scheme in the recently launched national civil aviation policy 2016. 

Air Carnival's fleet currently consists of a 8 years old ex-Kingfisher ATR 72-500 (MSN-767), registered as VT-CMA (70-seats). According to Air Carnival's CEO Manish Kumar Singh, the promoters are mulling ramp up investment to $12 million and two more ATRs are likely to join the airlines fleet in October this year. Now, it is to see how the expansion program unfolds in the coming months as Air Pegasus and TruJet which also set ambitious growth target are operating just three aircraft fleet each after one year of operation. Unlike its peers, Air Carnival designates separate flight numbers for each leg of the rotation and therefore offering no direct flight (one-stop) between Coimbatore and Madurai. The airline's initial schedule shows only four flights a day and block time of only five hours. With the last flight of the day terminating at 1:20 pm there is ample room for adding another rotation on the same sector or adding new sectors on the same aircraft. The airline is scheduled scale up its operation in next few weeks most likely by adding second daily frequency on its existing Coimbatore-Chennai-Madurai sector.

Air Carnival's flight schedule as of 18 July 2016
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Frequency
2S 101
Coimbatore: 06:55
Chennai: 08:10
Ex-Sunday
2S 111
Chennai: 08:40
Madurai: 09:55
Ex-Sunday
2S 102
Chennai: 12:05
Coimbatore: 13:20
Ex-Sunday
2S 112
Madurai: 10:20
Chennai: 11:35
Ex-Sunday

The new Air Carnival service on the 405 km (219 nm) Coimbatore-Chennai sector is going to face stiff competition from three other carriers. As 62 weekly flights are already operating on the route including four daily A320 flights by IndiGo, three ATR-72 flights by Jet Airways and two flights by SpiceJet on B737 and Bombardier Q-400 one each. Similarly, competition on the 418 km (225 nm) Madurai-Chennai sector is intense with four other carriers already operating 70 weekly flights. Air India operates one daily A319 service, SpiceJet's two flights are on B737 and one on turboprop. Jet Airways operates five daily ATR services. Fellow regional carrier Air Pegasus too operates one daily frequency between the two cities. 

4 comments:

  1. Great to read this blog about Air Carnival. I usually travels with this flight from Coimbatore to Chennai as a round trip. I love to travel in Air Carnival due to factors like Reasonable fares and Punctual flight. It has recently launched routes from Chennai<->Tuticorin and Chennai<->Tiruchirapalli. Hurry up and book your online tickets at www.aircarnival.in

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