Zexus Air Services Pvt. Ltd., a private airline company promoted jointly by Indian and NRI investors, has launched Zoom Air, a full-service scheduled airline in the domestic aviation sector in India. The airline company has firm plans to connect the metro airports with Tier-II and III airports which are currently underserved. The airline will commence scheduled operations from February 15 on the Delhi-Kolkata-Durgapur–Delhi sector with a 50-seater CRJ-200LR Jet.
Starting with a single aircraft, the company will be adding four more similar aircraft in the next couple of months with the aim to deploy the entire fleet on scheduled operations in the summer months.
Speaking to TravelBiz Monitor onboard the inaugural flight of Zoom, CEO and Director, Koustav M Dhar said that while they have a window period of one year as per DGCA rules to complete the deployment of mandatory five aircraft from the issuance date of the Air Operating Licence, they are keen to complete it in the summer months itself so that the pilots can be acclimatized with the Indian monsoon.
Calling Zoom a “national carrier with regional heart”, Dhar said that the focus is to connect smaller airports in the East and West with Delhi as the main hub, and Kolkata and Mumbai as secondary hubs. “The North, Central, East and North East India are still not adequately connected and we see many opportunities to connect several underserved airports in the region,” he added. Commenting on the South India scenario, Dhar said that the region is well served by both big players as well as regional airlines like Carnival, Air Costa, Flyeasy, etc.
After the remaining aircraft join the fleet, the company plans to start scheduled operations from Delhi and Kolkata to Tirupati, Vijayawada, Mumbai, Shillong, Aizawl, Pasighat, Zero, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Indore, Bhopal, etc. Dhar said that the airline will touch about 16 stations a day with about 32 to 35 scheduled departures a day by this summer.
Although Zoom fulfils the requirements of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the government, Dhar said that they had finalised their “business plans” well before the scheme came into being and for that reason do not want to change the model. Therefore, the company would be looking to leverage incentives like landing and parking fee waivers, fuel subsidy, etc., instead of revenue VGF, he said.
As far as the distribution strategy of the airline is concerned, Dhar said that they will be leveraging social media channels in a big way. Zoom has a social media base of 4 lakh followers, Dhar said. They target to achieve 20% of the distribution through social media platforms.