The Economic Times reported the national carrier’s Chairman & Managing Director, Ashwani Lohani, as saying that he is planning to introduce several smaller jet aircraft to facilitate the expansion. “Our prime focus is to increase regional connectivity. We will try to connect as many places as possible,” Lohani was quoted saying. “We are looking at various [aircraft] options, but smaller jets seem to fit the bill.
They would be faster, cost less and, perhaps, even be cheaper to operate,” he added. Currently, the airline operates three Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jets, along with a fleet of ATR turboprop aircraft. The new aircraft are likely to be Bombardiers. According to India’s new civil aviation policy, which was unveiled last week, the government is planning to improve regional connectivity across the country. A cap of INR 2,500 (US$37) has been proposed on fares for travel of up to one hour or 600km.