Air Deccan

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Table of Contents

THE MAN: Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath 4
Early life & Education5
Captain’s Commandments For Success5
Awards & honors6
The Brain Child And The Journey 7
Business Model8
Cost management12

Support Functions 13

Marketing and distribution14

Market Share And Impact In Pinnacle Years : 2005 and 200616 THE DEAL19



Air Deccan is the amazing story of India’s very first and living common man who took aviation to a height which nobody thought could ever be achieved. He introduced the first low-cost airline of the country. It became one of the nation’s largest airlines in less than four years. They did this through a clever combination of innovation and outsourcing. More importantly, from a strategic perspective, it gives powerful evidence to how technology can be a key factor in changing industry dynamics, even in what were once considered fairly stable or conservative industry. While Air Deccan was able to capture the imagination of the public and demand grew rapidly for its services thanks to its throwaway fares, the airline itself was plagued by operational problems as it sought to aggressively expand its network and fleet size.

The Man: Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath

Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath or commonly known as Capt.Gopinath is the pioneer of India's low-cost airline Air Deccan. Ex-army officer turned farmer then entrepreneur, in 1997, along with another colleague from the army, founded Deccan Aviation - India's largest Private Helicopter Charter Company. In 2003 he became the pioneer in launching India's first low-cost carrier Air Deccan - the common man's airline. A former army officer and an award winning Seri culturist, Capt G.R Gopinath, made his foray in the aviation sector way back in 1995; at a time when domestic aviation was monopolized by a handful of Full Service Airlines (FSA) and strict government regulations were the norm. He identified the potential which the helicopter charter business had in India. Combining his entrepreneurial skills and vision with the technical skills of his ex-army friends, he launched ‘Deccan Aviation’ – a dedicated, customer focused heli-charter Company. Inspired by the “low-cost” airline model pioneered by Southwest Airlines in the United States and later emulated by other successful carriers such as JetBlue and Ryan Air, Air Deccan sought to cut the frills out of airline operations and pass on the benefit to customers.

Early life & Education
Captain G. R. Gopinath, Founder and CEO at Deccan Aviation and Air Deccan is a graduate of the National Defense Academy and has served the Indian Army. He is considered the father of low cost air travel in India. He created a whole new market when he launched India`s first low cost airline, Air Deccan.

Capt G R Gopinath or Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath or `Gopi` as he is affectionately called was born in a Hassan Iyengar family of the remote village of Gorur, Karnataka. Starting his studies in a village school, he completed his further schooling at Sainik (military) School, Bijapur. Thereafter he joined the distinguished National Defence Academy and later graduated from the Indian Military Academy as a commissioned officer in the Indian Army. He then went on to serve the Army for eight years. Sometime in 1995, the Govt. of India started the reforms process by encouraging entrepreneurship. This inspired the entrepreneur in him to identify the tremendous potential Helicopter Charter had in India. Along with an old Army friend he decided to start a...
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