Air Costa suspends all flights till March 15

Bengaluru: Cash-strapped regional airline Air Costa has suspended its operations till March 15 for operational reasons, said a company official on Monday.

“We have suspended our services since February 28 and stopped bookings till March 15 for operational reasons. We will announce our revival plans on March 15,” Air Costa’s Marketing Vice-President Kavi Chaurasia told IANS from Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada.

The three-year-old feeder airline was operating daily service to eight cities, including six in the southern region – Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Tirupathi, Vijayawada and Vizag and two in the western region – Ahmedabad and Jaipur.

“We have grounded our two Embraer aircraft. We are talking to investors for infusion of investments as we are facing fund crunch,” admitted Chaurasia.

Though the low-cost airline had four Embraer jets with a capacity to fly 112 passengers in each of them, two are stalled at the Hyderabad airport after they were impounded by GE Capital Aviation Services for defaulting on payments.

The budget carrier has about 600 employees.

According to the information with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Vijayawada-based airline was founded by L.P. Bhaskara Rao, a realtor.

The airline had reported Rs 130 crore loss on revenue of Rs 327 crore for fiscal 2015-16.

DGCA data for December showed Air Costa had the highest number of cancellations at 13.65 per cent and its market share was 0.6 per cent.