Paramount Airways eyes second Indian base

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India's Paramount Airways is considering Bengaluru and Hyderabad as its second base in the country after Chennai.

"A second base will be an important strategic move that will allow us to increase our operations and serve more cities in India," says a spokeswoman. The airline could make a decision by the end of the year, she adds.

Paramount, which operates Embraer regional jets, mainly serves cities in the Southern Indian states. However, in recent months, it has begun flights to West Indian cities such as Goa and Pune, as well as India's capital New Delhi.

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state in South India, has been a good base for the regional market so far. But that may not be enough for an airline that launched a cargo division in February and plans to begin international flights by end-2010. Hyderabad, in Andhra Pradesh state, is in a much more central location in India while Bengaluru, which is located in Karnataka state, is the country's IT hub.

Paramount had only 2% of the Indian domestic market share in April, the lowest among the country's airlines, but it had the highest load factor at 89%.