Friday, August 8, 2014

Govt clears the decks for Umesh Vankayalapati's new airlines

Turbo Megha is the latest all-Hyderabad start-up that will soon be taking off from the region — very slowly and carefully though. Vankayalapati Umesh and Southern movie actor Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan are directors of Turbo Megha Airways Pvt. Ltd, which is expected to start operations from Hyderabad. Turbo Aviation Pvt. Ltd, an associate company, has two Cessna Citation aircraft and is based out of Hyderabad. It also has provided ground-handling services to domestic airlines such as Air Deccan, Air Sahara, Jet Airways (India) Ltd, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and Go Airlines Pvt. Ltd, among others.
“Yes, Ram Charan and I have been in talks about the airline for some time now,” says Vankayalapati Umesh, Managing Director and Charan’s partner in the business. “We are bringing out the airline in a phased manner and will be sticking to leased aircrafts for the time being — Bombardier Q400s and ATRs. Later, we’ll think about flying our own aircraft,” adds Umesh.
The business is also all Hyderabadi “Ram Charan was very keen on the venture and he’s made a small investment. The others involved in the project are also from the city. We thought of keeping it tight and there’s still so much work left before the final take-off,” says Vankayalapati Umesh.
Representatives from the airline are also tight-lipped about the budget and the investment that has gone in. Ram Charan’s interests could also perhaps make him the only actor in India invested in an airline business.
“We’re not going very public with the details. It’s definitely a dream project and like I said, in aviation... you have to be careful. If done right, it can be a very successfully venture and we are making sure every step we take, is measured and correct,” concludes Umesh.
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