VIJAYAWADA: Regional air carrier Air Costa on Tuesday suspended its flight operations temporarily citing 'financial issues' with the aircraft lessors. The flight operations are likely to resume from Thursday or Friday.
The airline has suspended the daily operation of 16 flights to eight destinations including two leased Embraer aircraft till Wednesday. But financial issues with the lessors have forced the airliner to stop operations temporarily.
Air Costa normally operates upto 24 flights, but is operating only 16 flights at present due to the offseason in the aviation sector as well as partial closure of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) at Bengaluru. Speaking to Express, Air Costa vice-president (marketing and brand communication) Kavi Chaurasia said that the company was trying to resolve the issues with the lessors. "
We are renegotiating the lease agreements and are also in advanced stage of talks with our investors for fund infusion as part of expansion plans. Simultaneously, we are also discussing over inducting new aircrafts and expanding our operations to ensure pan-India presence," he said. Further, the company is making alternate travel arrangements for its air passengers who have already booked tickets on these flights.
While ticket fares are being refunded to many, a few passengers who are in emergency, are being provided with alternate mode of transportation. Promoted by Vijayawada-based LEPL Group, Air Costa is one of the major regional carriers in India. Less than six months ago, the airline has suspended its operations in August last year for the same reason. During the same period, several other aircraft operators, also suspended their operations due to concerns over financial viability of the regional airlines.