New Indian domestic airline Air Deccan launched its first scheduled passenger services on 27 August using two ATR 42s. It is initially offering twice-daily return services from its Bangalore base to two smaller cities in southern India, Hubli and Mangalore.

Another two ATR 42s will be put into operation in September and by the last week of October there will be six in service, all on lease from the manufacturer.

"We will have 40 pilots by November, six aircraft and 70 flights a day," says Air Deccan managing director Capt G R Gopinath.

Chennai, Belgaum, Tiripathi and Rajamundry are among other proposed destinations for Air Deccan this year.

Meanwhile, India's Jet Airways is considering a further delay to its plans to acquire Embraer 175 regional jets, while shelving tentative plans to acquire four more Boeing 737-700/800s.

The airline announced at the Farnborough air show in 2002 that it had signed a letter of intent to purchase 10 Embraer 175s, with the first aircraft due to be delivered in June 2004.

However, it then pushed back the planned first delivery date by 12 months and is now looking at pushing it back even further.

"We have delayed it by one year to begin with, but we are looking at our fleet plan again as to what time we should get it," says executive director Saroj Datta.

Source: Flight International