Indian low cost carrier ‘Flybig’ has started operations with its inaugural flight from Indore to Ahmedabad.
Flybig aims to connect smaller towns under the government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik, meaning everyone can fly) scheme, which offers airlines subsidies for flying such routes. Flybig, India’s latest carrier, got the approval by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) in December last year to take to the skies.
On 21st December,2020, the airline began operating its first route from Delhi to Shillong after it won a contract with the government, according to MoneyControl.
To fulfill the contract, Flybig wet-leased a De Havilland Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 from SpiceJet. Flybig will operate the route 2-times-a-week using the wet-leased aircraft and eventually bring its own fleet onto the route.
Flybig’s 1st official flight took off yesterday from its base in Indore,Madhya Pradesh, to Ahmedabad,Gujarat. The airline currently has 1 ATR72 in its fleet that previously flew with Virgin Australia and in in the process of inducting another. The plane was withdrawn from service in December 2017 and arrived in India in October 2020, according to Planespotters.net. The aircraft seats 68 passengers in a 2-2 configuration.
More routes coming
Flybig will add a Indore-Raipur service to its network from 12th January,2021. The airline will also begin flying from Ahmedabad to Bhopal from 1st February,2021. By March, the airline will have flights connecting all three focus cities.
The airline also organised a special flight for differently-abled on 31st December,2020 in Jabalpur; and will later add this Madhya Pradesh city in its network in the 2nd stage.
Services and Price
In an effort to keep fares low but provide some services, Flybig will be a Hybrid Airline. This means snacks will be included with the ticket, but customers will have to pay for services like a 2nd check-in bag and priority check-in.
The airline is founded by pilot turned aviation entrepreneur Sanjay Mandavia. The airline will operate 3-times-a-week on above mentioned routes and mid-February, the airline will expand its operations to five flights a week.