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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

An airline without budgets

Paramount Airways, an Indian airline which offers only Business Class seats is going to take off soon. The promoter hails from the business house, which was instrumental in founding Bank of Madura (which was later acquired by ICICI Bank). The airline flies in the following sectors: Coimbatore – Delhi, Delhi – Cochin, Coimbatore - Chennai. Although such concepts have existed in the US, this is novel concept as far as the Indian airline industry is concerned. It is too early to write them off. Paramount made news when they ordered Embraer Aircraft at the Paris Air Show. Following Paramount’s footsteps, liquor baron Vijay Mallya is also planning to order some Embraer aircraft for his Kingfisher Airlines.

The 70-seater Paramount's Embraer jet is to operate its maiden flight on September 23. The flight scheduled to leave Coimbatore at 6.10 a.m. will arrive in Delhi at 9 a.m. non-stop. On the return direction, it will leave Delhi at 9.40 a.m. and arrive in Kochi at 12.50 p.m. Leaving Kochi at 1.20 p.m., it would arrive in Delhi by 4.30 p.m. The flight will again leave Delhi at 5 p.m. and arrive in Coimbatore at 8 p.m. The flight will then leave for Chennai at 8.10 pm and reach Chennai at 9.05 pm. On the return journey, the flight will leave Chennai at 9.35 pm and reach Coimbatore by 10.30 pm.

The above schedule is way too packed for them to promise on-time arrival and departure. Any small jinx anywhere might throw their schedules out of gear. It is a well-known fact that there are huge landing queues in airports like Delhi. A 30-minute turnaround time will be quite difficult to achieve. It’s still not clear whether Paramount has outsourced its ground handling operations like what Kingfisher did.

Most of the new airlines have restricted themselves to the main metros and Paramount should be praised for their guts to target the smaller metros like Cochin and Coimbatore. I am a bit skeptical about the viability of running a full service airline (which offers only Business Class seats) from Coimbatore/Cochin to Delhi. I hope they have done their market studies before taking the plunge. If this model doesn’t click, they always have the option of rebranding themselves and offering discounted / APEX fares.


I was shocked to hear the Singapore radio channels referring to Jet Airways as an Indian budget carrier. I’m sure none of them have travelled in Jet before.


  • Its a bold move trying to target the premium segment. I hope they have done the mkt research on their target segment.
    Coimbatore being a prime business location (I admit that Coimbatore in fact is more biz savvy than Chennai)might help them.

    Has it also got to do with the "arrival" of the textile industry (The relaxation of textile quotas) which is located at Tirupur near coimbatore ?

    By Blogger Cogito, at 11:00 AM  

  • The Gavundars..landlords and mill-owners of CBE are much savvy than the sea of rising middle class in Chennai. It is touted ot have more BM's and Benz' than Chennai.

    Singapore media rox..Coverage on India is mainly on witch hunts, poverty and o'course,BPO. Wonder wat made Jet a 'budget' carrier, esp. given the Aviation Guru of Singapore overseeing Jet's Singapore operations.

    By Blogger Chennai chatter, at 11:24 AM  

  • May be somebody noticed that in some sectors Jet prices are cheaper than Deccan! For example i recently booked a Bangalore -Hyderabad ticket through Jet as it was around 1K cheaper than Deccan for the same day flight!

    By Blogger Krishna, at 11:37 AM  

  • They should also start offering Apex fairs for Business class... High time we also try business travel :-)

    By the BudJet is Maybe because, jet airways mostly fly 737s which are the Planes of choice for Budget Airlines..

    By Anonymous tony, at 12:24 PM  

  • In my opinion, Jet is much better than a lot of international carriers like Thai...

    By Blogger Nirav, at 2:25 PM  

  • I second what Chennai Chatter and Cognitos said... Tirupur is revving up to its past glory and it's a known fact that there are more BMW and Mercs in Coimbatore than in Chennai.. In fact, one of my friend who works in an auto major stated that Tirupur is one of their pilot centers for testing our their new cars!!

    By Blogger Peak Day Blues, at 8:26 PM  

  • Local radio might have thought that other than national carriers all others are budget carriers !!!!! They might not have realised that sometimes private airliners other than the national airlines can also be expensive...

    By Blogger Ram.C, at 10:03 AM  

  • @Cogito,
    Coimbatore does have a good business climate and it is high time that the airlines targetted this business city

    @Chennai Chatter,
    As u said, CBE is quite business savvy and hence the airline might just click

    I thought Deccan has issued a ad saying that they are the lowest price ever and they will refund money if somebody else charges less. What happened to that?

    I think some kind of Apex fares might exist for Biz Class as well. But since Biz class is mostly corporate travellers and hence the airlines might not cut prices as they know that these corporates have deep pockets

    I'm with u on this

    Tirupur is definitely the hub for textile and hosiery and it makes sense to target the people there.

    I know for sure that their knowledge of India is quite poor. They think that everything except SQ is a budget airlines.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 1:59 PM  

  • Recently i read an interview of Mr.Nandan Nilekani, CEO of Infosys referring to an American talking about the excellent services by Jet Airways on board...

    By Blogger Rajesh, at 7:18 PM  



    When Paramount Airways was introduced, every one might have been exited that for the first time airline based out of Tamil Nadu was started. There was also expectation that the aviation sector in Tamil Nadu would improve. For a long time Bangalore was the only headquarters for all airline. TamilNadu was a desert of aviation enterprise ever since Air Asiatic wound up.

    There was also reports of Tamil newspapers inflight abort Paramount, which would have attracted exitement in the emotional TN market.

    To tell the truth Paramount Airways is no different from they claim to be. They are just part of the Hindi-speaking herd which are based in Tamil Nadu only in name.

    THeir vacancies within Tamil Nadu DO NOT care for knowledge of Tamil but require Hindi. Speaking Tamil is considered shameful in India's aviation industry. Speaking Hindi is actual considered good etiquette. Paramount Airways has also shown this preference.

    They barely link 3 of the busiest airports in Tamil Nadu, which others like Air Deccan have already been doing.

    The only thing Paramount Airways is unique is that they are the most expensive.

    To sum it up, being an expensive airline which at the end of the day you get the usual English and Hindi only treatment, you would rather pick others for less.

    By Anonymous Ranjan Singh, at 2:38 AM  

  • Down with SHITTY PARAMOUNT AIRWAYS for following reservation for Hindi speakers and boycotting Tamils even for posts inside Tamilnadu. Airline industry in India is racist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 PM  

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