In an effort to strengthen India’s regional connectivity, Star Air, the aviation vertical of Sanjay Ghodawat Group, announced the regional carrier has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for two Embraer E175 aircraft with Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), one of the largest Regional Aircraft Lessors in the world.
The deal was announced during a press event organized by Embraer at the Farnborough International Airshow, UK, in presence of senior officials from Embraer and Star Air.
With unparalleled potential, India’s regional sectors are one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. Star Air is striving to establish a fleet of Embraer aircraft that will improve regional connectivity.
Offering the right capacity at affordable fares, Star Air pledges to support the growing demand across India as the airline prepares for the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s plans to build 100 airports.
Eager to welcome the E175 to the Indian skies, the E175 has no middle seats and provides best-in-class legroom with comfortable seating arrangements.
“After witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, we are excited to partner with Embraer as we constantly aim at Connecting Real India and make travel accessible, reliable, and affordable. As the fastest-growing Indian regional airline, we are excited to touch new horizons and explore the skies with great vigour. The E175 aircraft will not only add flexibility and efficiency to our network but will also strengthen our customer relations as we provide them with an unparalleled flying experience.”Shrenik Ghodawat, Director, Star Air
With a flying range of 2,200 nautical miles, Star Air is set to fly longer, faster, and smoother. Currently operating in 18 destinations across India, the airline is all geared up to grow and expand its regional presence.
As part of the statement, Star Air has also announced that pending the signing of the lease agreement, the airline is confident of starting E175 operations by November 2022.
Currently, the airline operates scheduled flights using its 5 ERJ-145 in addition to a handful of Airbus Helicopters to connect 18 Indian destinations focusing mainly on tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
These include Ahmedabad, Ajmer (Kishangarh), Bengaluru, Belagavi, Delhi (Hindon), Hubballi, Indore, Jodhpur, Kalaburagi, Mumbai, Nashik, Surat, Tirupati, Jamnagar, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhuj and Bidar.
Star Air’s E145s can carry 50 passengers in a 1-2 all-economy seating configuration. All five airframes have been operated by other airlines in the past and are nearly 16.5 years old on average.
The E175 is also the most sold E-jet with orders at 840 E175s at the end of 2021. Of these 693 have been delivered and a backlog of 147 remained as of December 31, 2021. The E175 has a range of 4074kms.
Sanjay Ghodawat Group (SGG) is a prominent Indian business conglomerate that has a presence in various high-value business verticals. Aviation, Consumer Products, Education, Energy, Mining, Realty, Retail, and Textiles are some of its key business domains.
If Star Air’s deal goes through, NAC will have signed a second Indian airline customer. The regional aircraft lessor has leased nine DHC Dash 8-Q400 aircraft to low-cost airline SpiceJet.
Deliveries to SpiceJet started in late 2016 and continued for about a year. All but one of the nine airframes have been listed as active.
Days leading up to the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow have been quite good for Nordic Aviation Capital. The lessor made deals for 15 airframes in one week, a month after its exit from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Star Air is an Indian regional airline that started operations in 2019 with Banglore’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) as its hub.
The carrier operates flights under the Indian government’s UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik or ‘Let the common citizens of the country fly’) scheme, wherein operators are incentivized by the government to connect under-served regional airports.
The airline has been consistently carrying about 20,000 passengers per month. The airline made a loss of INR 18.7 crore in FY20-21, while it had lost INR 36.6 crore in FY19-20 as per data submitted in the parliament. The airline will have to work with the regulator to work on the operational side to add a new type to its Air Operating Certificate (AOC).