Friday, March 27, 2009

A R Rahman to be new face of Star Aviation

Star Aviation, the Indian aviation wing of the Dubai-based conglomerate, ETA Star Holdings, is all set to sign up Oscar winner, A R Rahman as the brand ambassador for the soon-to-be-launched regional airline operations.
Star Aviation has already received the go ahead from the civil aviation ministry for operating its regional airlines service in the country. The airlines, which is scheduled to start its operations sometime next month, will initially operate brand new fleet of three Embraer 170 aircrafts.
“We are firming up our plans for the airlines and flight schedules. The launch of the service will happen in about a month’s time,” a senior Star Aviation official told 
Financial Chronicle.
“We have held discussions with Rahman. But, yet to sign a formal agreement with him,” he said, on A R Rahman becoming the Brand Ambassador for this fledgling airline. A formal agreement is likely to be signed over the next couple of days, it is learnt.
Star Aviation will be the first corporate to sign up A R Rahman as its brand ambassador, after he
won the Oscars. He had earlier represented a few brands, including Airtel, in the past.
The designated regional airline will initially cover seven cities, mostly in south India, from its Chennai hub. These are Bangalore, Kochi, Thiruva-nanthapuram, Madurai, Hyderabad, Vishakapat-nam and Ahmedabad.
The ‘full service carrier’ will offer a ‘single class configuration’ of seats, as already being successfully done by Paramount Airways, based out of Madurai. And it is also adopting a similar approach by opting for a mix of leased and owned aircrafts.
While the initial focus is expected to be south, Star Aviation will eventually spread to other Indian cities as well. Though regional airlines are not permitted fly between two major metros across regions, Star Aviation will still be able to connect Chennai with Bangalore and Hyderabad, besides operating flights to most tier-II cities in the region.
The multi-billion Dubai-based ETA Star Holdings has interests which pans across industries including real estate, hospitality, automobile, power sector and shipping services.
The group’s Indian operations are headquartered in Chennai and it has already forayed into real estate, shipping, insurance and power sectors in India, besides restaurants.


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