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Air Pegasus gets a white knight in Flyeasy

Bengaluru-based regional airline Air Pegasus, whose Air Operator Permit (AOP) or flying license was suspended last year, has entered into a “strategic partnership” with the start-up carrier Flyeasy to revive its operations from March 1.

Rajesh Ebrahim, managing director and CEO of Flyeasy, told DNA Money post his company’s investment in Air Pegasus, the promoters of Flyeasy would be majority stakeholders.

He said with the fresh infusion of funds, details of which has not been disclosed, and submission of a new business plan to the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the AOP of Air Pegasus would be reinstated.

This, according to him, will facilitate the relaunch of Air Pegasus on regional routes by March 1.

Simultaneously, Flyeasy was also trying to acquire a pan-India flying licence, process of which has already been initiated by it. It is planning a commercial launch by May.

Ebrahim said the two airlines would have the same Board but their management teams and brands would be different.

“Boards of both (airlines) will be the same but the management teams, who will be running the operations, will be separate. We will also not have the same branding at this point of time,” he said.

According to him, Air Pegasus will operate the regional jets ATRs while Flyeasy will fly Airbus planes.

A statement issued by Air Pegasus said it was looking at inducting 24 aircraft over the next four years as part of its revamp plans. Of this, it will induct six planes this year.

“Air Pegasus will continue as a regional airline operating in Tier 2 and 3 cities while Flyeasy will operate as a pan-India operator with all Airbus fleet and will have a commercial launch on May 2017,” said Shyson Thomas, managing director of Air Pegasus, in a statement issued by the regional carrier.

Ebrahim believes “strategic partnerships and code-shares” are future of the Indian aviation; “I feel that we have moved in the right direction”.

The statement said Zulfikar Ahmed Khan will be the group chairman while Misbaudeen the managing director of Air Pegasus and Suhail Sheriff will be managing director of Flyeasy.

“Shyson Thomas will continue on the board of the airline as vice chairman and Rajesh Ebrahim has been appointed as the group CEO,” said the airline release.

In November last year, the AOP of Air Pegasus was revoked as it could not get in fresh funds to revive its operations. The regional airline, which began operations in April 2015, had been on a lookout for investors for some time now.

It was forced to cancel all its flights since July last year after its planes were repossessed by lessors.