Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based regional airline company Turbo Megha Airways, operating under the brand Trujet is planning to take its current fleet of five aircraft to about 18 by 2020. Starting with two ATR-72 aircraft in July 2015, Trujet now operates five ATR-72 aircraft in its fleet and connects 20 destinations in India. The company is aggressively looking to grow its capacity, network and profitability in the coming years.
Of the 13 aircraft it plans to add to its fleet, five will be added by November 2019. The company which currently caters to 20 cities is planning to add six new destinations and four additions to the existing destinations.
Trujet claims to have the largest share of its capacity (73 per cent) deployed on UDAN (Ude Deshka Aam Naagrik) routes. The airline has started operations to all the routes under UDAN 1 and 2 and now has plans to start more routes which were allotted under UDAN 3. Trujet has served 2 million passengers in the last four years of its operation.
K V Pradeep, director, Turbo Megha Airways, told Telangana Today, “Hyderabad was our first hub of operations and we have created our second hub in Ahmedabad. We are going to add Guwahati as our third hub for the North Eastern region. Hyderabad contributes to 70 per cent of our activity, and Ahmedabad contributes to 30 per cent. Of the new aircraft that we will deploy this year, Guwahati will get two aircraft and one each in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. We will be the first UDAN airline that will connect services to Guwahati.”
Turbo Megha Airways that began its operations in 2015 has completed its four years of operations, serving 1.9 million customers. The company also plans to add its team strength to meet its expansion needs in the coming 1-2 years.
Turbo Megha Airways CFO K G Vishwanath, said, “There are 750 routes approved and allocated under UDAN. Only 170 are operational as of today. We expect a lot of these routes will come up for e-bidding. There are 150 airports prescribed under UDAN. We will pick and choose best routes based on the local GDP and traffic data. We will also be using artificial intelligence to understand customer preferences to enhance the experience. We will roll out a new mobile app by early 2020.”
He added, “At a time when Jet Airways is grounded and Air India is struggling, Trujet has sustained its position in the Indian aviation sector. We do expect a tough competition with large players such as Indigo and SpiceJet also looking at a pie in the regional routes, however, Trujet has got its own growth strategy in place. We will focus on niche locations and services.”
On the aviation scenario, Vishwanath said, “Domestic passenger growth in India is at 20 per cent every year. India is projected to be the third largest aviation market in the world after the US and China by 2035. Yet, India remains an underserved and underpenetrated market. While China is seeing its 20 per cent population flying, India’s only six per cent population travels by air. This opens up a huge opportunity for airline companies. An estimated $1.3 billion is going to be invested in Indian aviation sector between 2015 and 20.”
The airline, in which MEIL holds a 90 per cent stake, is looking at 50 per cent topline growth in 2018-19, 50 per cent in 2019-20 and 80 per cent increase in 2020-21.
TruJet is looking at maximise the ancillary revenues such as unbundled fares, add on like pre-reserved seating, excess baggage and advertising from boarding pass to aircraft wraps. And also services to third parties including ground handling. The airliner is also looking to build the strategic partnerships with airlines both domestic and international.
The company plans to building strategic partnerships with both domestic and international airlines to provider feeder facility. The partnership will also complement domestic airlines in their business.
Vishwanath said, “We are discussing with these airlines. In the next 3-6 months, we expect at least two airlines will be on board.”