On January 3 this year, India welcomed a new low-cost regional carrier FlyBig that undertook its inaugural flight on that day from Indore to Ahmedabad. This regional airline that has its headquarters in Indore, has been founded by Sanjay Mandavia, commercial pilot turned aviation entrepreneur of Gurugram-based Big Charter Private Limited who had also placed a qualifying bid for Jet Airways. The airline received approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in December 2020 to commence operations which it did without delay. FlyBig added flight connecting Indore to Raipur to its network from January 12 this year and plans to operate flights from Ahmedabad to Bhopal from February 1. The airline is currently operating only three flights a week; but by the middle of February 2020, it will enhance its operations to five flights a week. The regional carrier is also planning to serve Tier 3 cities such as Bilaspur and Satna from Bhopal. Currently the regional carrier has on its inventory one ATR 72 with a seating capacity of 68 passengers in 2-2 configuration and one De Havilland Canada Dash-8 Q400 with a seating capacity of 78 passengers. The Q400 aircraft is on wet lease from Spice-Jet. The airline organised a “special flight” for a differently-abled individual on December 31, 2020 in Jabalpur, a city that will be added to its network in the second stage.
Admittedly, launch of this new regional carrier has come at a time when the Indian airline industry is going through difficult times. Hopefully, the situation should improve in the near future and by connecting smaller towns, FlyBig should be able to tap into new markets with burgeoning demand.