UK group to invest Rs 950 crore in Turbo Aviation's new airline TruStar

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A UK based business group is planning to enter the Indian aviation sector by acquiring majority stake in Hyderabad-based Turbo Aviation.  

Founded by V Umesh, Turbo Aviation is planning to launch a new airline called TruStar to run the commuter air services under UDAN scheme starting next year. It had earlier launched TruJet commercial airliner in addition to other services like aircraft maintenance and ground clearance in the past. 

"We had signed an agreement with a large UK business group to dilute majority stake in Turbo Aviation in its favour. We will announce the name of our partner and other details once the security clearances are in place,"Umesh said on Monday. The yet to be operational TruStar airline has already been awarded 10 routes across seven states including Uttar Pradesh under the UDAN Scheme.

According to Umesh, the company's strategic investor has plans to pump in as much as 100 million Pounds (about Rs 950 crore) in the airline company operations over a period of five years. The TruStar plans to launch its operations in February-March next year with an initial fleet of 5 ATRs and 5 Airbus 320s. The company would also apply for Pan-India operations soon thereafter as the foreign partner would want to build a large Indian airliner over a period of time.

"Indian aviation sector, be it airport operations or the airline business, has not been impacted even 1 per cent by the current economic downturn and this itself speaks of tremendous business potential as well as the scope for new operators that exist in the domestic airline services," Umesh said while explaining the rationale behind the launch of a new airline. "At present there are only four big airline companies operating in India. Obviously there is a scope for new players in this growing sector. The country had already added 40-50 new airports for expansion of domestic air travel under the UDAN and there will be more airports in future," he added.

Eventually the new airline company plans to have a fleet of 10 ATRs,  10 AirBus 320s besides 4 Made-in-India Droniers of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) for operations and further expand its fleet with new flying routes, according to its founder. Once operational, TruStar will be the first Indian commercial airliner to introduce the Made-In-India Droniers as the company plans to induct them for operating in certain routes in Uttar Pradesh where landing of ATRs was not possible.

TruStar was awarded four routes in Uttar Pradesh, three routes across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa, two routes between Hyderabad and Prakasham Barrage of Andhra Pradesh and between Chennai and Ramnad in Tamil Nadu and a large multi-destination route connecting Raipur, Rurkela, Jharsuguda, Jagadalpur with Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad.

The upcoming airliner is also planning to add commercial amphibious(sea plane) to its fleet . The company founder says that TruStar is looking to transform the connectivity in the North and Southern Sector to begin with, keeping in mind more flying routes in future.

Umesh, currently holds 6-7 per cent stake in TruJet as the Hyderabad-based MIAL Group had subsequently got a controlling stake following the launch of the airlines in 2015. 


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