Aiming at aggressive growth, budget carrier TruJet on Friday announced plans to double its fleet to 10 ATR-72 aircrafts by the end of 2019.
Celebrating its fourth anniversary, the regional airline is looking to add six new destinations to its existing network of 20 locations and increase frequency for four destinations.
Turbo Megha Airways Private Ltd, which operates the airlines, also announced that it will add five to eight aircraft in 2020. All the aircraft will be taken on lease.
The company expects topline growth of 50 per cent during 2019-20. It was Rs 165 crore during the previous financial year.
K.G. Vishwanath, Chief Financial Officer, TruJet told reporters that the airlines had losses of Rs 84 crore during 2018-19. He expects the losses during the current financial year to be a fraction of what they incurred last year.
TruJet, which made a beginning with two aircraft in 2015, currently has five aircraft operating 1,200 flights per month. This number is expected to be doubled by the end of 2019.
The carrier also plans to set up its third hub later this year at Guwahati as it is gearing up to connect four destinations in the Northeast under the UDAN 3 routes. With its main hub in Hyderabad, the airline had established a second hub at Ahmedabad last year.
“Over the past four years, TruJet has been able to create its own niche in the regional connectivity space. We are the only successful standing airline amongst the regional airlines which started operations around the same time as us,” said TruJet Director K.V. Pradeep.
He said the UDAN scheme launched by the Prime Minister was a great opportunity for airlines like TruJet to connect the hitherto unserved and underserved markets in India.
“This has led to an upsurge in traffic and we are looking at connecting these points with incremental flight as well as with more cities in our fast-growing network,” he said.
TruJet, which has 700 employees, is looking to maximise their ancillary revenues from categories like unbundled fares, add-ons like pre-reserved seating, excess baggage, advertising from boarding pass to aircraft wraps, and services to third parties, including ground handling.
The airline is also looking to build strategic partnerships with both domestic and internationa carriers.