Indian carrier Jagson Airlines is negotiating with Airbus for the purchase of 14 new Airbus A321s but it plans to launch scheduled operations with two leased aircraft.

“We want to start in mid-May with leased aircraft,” Jagson president and chief executive Uttam Kumar Bose says from Delhi, where the airline is based. Bose says A321s on dry-lease are hard to find so the carrier may resort to using A319s or A320s. It expects to be leasing six to eight A320-family aircraft before it takes delivery of purchased aircraft.

Jagson is now negotiating to purchase 14 new A321s and take six options. It wants deliveries from 2007 although Airbus is saying it can only deliver from 2009 onwards, says Bose, who adds that at this stage he has no plans to enter into negotiations with Boeing. Jagson, which is listed on the Mumbai stock exchange, has been operating since 1991 and currently provides charter services using three Dornier 228s and one helicopter. Next month it is also receiving two more helicopters.

Bose, who is the former chief executive of Indian carrier Air Sahara, joined Jagson in December and is working to transform the tiny airline into one of India’s major low cost carriers. The shareholders recently attended an extraordinary meeting and agreed to inject money into the airline to increase its capital to Rs500 million ($11.2m), says Bose.

He also says the shareholders approved the sale of new shares and management is speaking to an undisclosed investor about injecting even more money into the business. With these three initiatives it is hoped Jagson will have total capital of $25 million, he adds.

Jagson will remain based in Delhi and will compete on domestic Indian routes against the national carrier Indian Airlines and several other low cost carriers. Bose says Jagson will differentiate itself by having a two-class interior configuration, economy and premium economy seating, and it will target business travellers and other frequent travellers who are less price conscious. “We will be low cost carrier but I wouldn’t say we are ‘no frills’,” adds Bose, who declines to elaborate further.

This article first appeared on Air Transport Intelligence, an online business intelligence service for the air transport industry with 24 hour news and data available to subscribers.

Source: Flight International