Starting a new airline, FlyBig, during the pandemic in India may not seem to be a good idea. But that is not what founder and pilot-turned-entrepreneur Sanjay Mandavia thinks. His startup airline – FlyBig, made its maiden flight on January 3, 2021, from its base Indore (IATA: IDR, ICAO: VAID) to Ahmedabad (IATA: AMD, ICAO: VAAH).
FlyBig Business Model
FlyBig’s business model is based on the government’s UDAAN program, which incentivizes airlines to fly to small towns and provide viable air connectivity. FlyBig is not the first airline to get attracted by this scheme. It is noteworthy that many airlines which started operations in 2017 had to shut down operations within a year.
What Do the Owners of FlyBig Think?
The managing director Capt. Sanjay Mandavia is not new in the aviation industry. He comes with 20+ years of experience, 11,000 flying hours on A330, and is an approved check pilot.
Mandavia is also the founding member of India’s top simulator center Flight Simulator Technique Centre (FSTC), where he grew the business from 2 simulators to 9 simulators.
Mandavia was also in the race to buy out Jet Airways.
Single Aircraft Operations
The airline operates with a single ATR-72, 68-seater aircraft. The aircraft is ten-year-old and was earlier in use with Virgin Australia. A second ATR-72, an 18-year-old ex-VASCO – Vietnam Air Services unit, is currently undergoing maintenance at Ho Chi Minh City. This aircraft is yet to join the fleet.
Flight Operations and Services
The airline provides interconnectivity between Bhopal, Jabalpur, Ahmedabad, and Pune, with its hub being Indore. The airline is yet to start scheduled services on the Delhi Shillong route.
According to DGCA January 2021 Traffic Report, the airlines operated with a passenger load factor of 40.2%, zero flight cancellations, and zero complaints.
We hope that the airline succeeds in its plans. What do you think about this new startup airline? Do write to us in the comments section below.