Taking wings, Zoom Air on Sunday flew its inaugural flight from the national capital and will start commercial operations from February 15.
The CRJ 200 LR plane landed at the Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport, Durgapur, at 1339 hours, where it was accorded the traditional water canon salute.
Zoom Air has became the 12th operational domestic carrier. The airline would start commercial services from February 15 with a flight to Durgapur via Kolkata from New Delhi.
Promoted by Zexus Air Services, the carrier would also operate flights to Amritsar, Surat and Bhavnagar from Delhi in the first phase of its operations with a fleet of three dry- leased CRJ 200LR planes.
Zoom Airs entry is expected to intensify competition in the domestic aviation market, which is seeing over 20 per cent growth over the last two years.
"We envisage a 18-20 per cent year on growth on such underserved and un-served airports and we have seen such massive air traffic growth in stations like Vijaywada, Tirupati, Ranchi and Chandigarh. Its all about connectivity and regular reliable services," Zoom Air Director and Chief Executive Officer Koustav Mohan Dhar said.
Around Rs 20 crore has been already invested in the carrier, he said, adding that the airline plans to raise Rs 20-25 crore in 3-6 months, preferably through equity funding.
The funds would be utilised in fleet expansion, Dhar said.
Zoom Air plans to expand route network to destinations such as Tirupati, Vijaywada, Mumbai, Shillong, Aizawl, Pasighat and Zero (in Arunachal Pradesh), Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Indore and Bhopal, with a likely daily operations.
Two similar CRJ-200LR aircraft from Skyone FZE Aircraft leasing, UAE, under dry lease would join the fleet by April.
This would take the total planes to five, a condition required under DGCA norms.
Zoom Air received scheduled operator permit from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) earlier this month and allows it to operate pan India. Zexus Air Services Pvt Ltd (Zoom Air) is a professional airline group, as per the company.
Currently, Air Costa, TrueJet, Alliance Air and Air Carnival are the operational regional carriers while Air Pegasus is grounded.
Air India, Jet Airways, Vistara, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and AirAsia India are the other domestic airlines.