Air Deccan (A): “Simpliflying” Air Travel In India Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

IMD-3-1976 © 2008
Leleux, Benoit F.; Pigeaux, Isabelle

Captain Gorur Ramaswamy Gopinath began his journey using a dream – a dream inspired by one simple statement: “I desire every Indian to fly at least once in their own life.” In 2002, when Capt. Gopinath first broached the idea of starting a low-cost airline to serve India’s traveling needs, no one took him seriously. Bankers refused to finance him, he was ignored by aircraft manufacturers and aviation industry observers affirmed that India was not prepared. Nonetheless, he was convinced that India’s burgeoning middle class, already purchasing color TVs and cell phones, could possibly be converted to air travel. By 2007, Capt. Gopinath was close to realizing his vision.

Air Deccan, with a market share of 21.6%, was India’s fastest-growing low-cost carrier and the second-largest airline in the country. It ran the most extensive network in India , covering 61 airports, flew some 306 scheduled flights a day and operated a completely new fleet of 14 Airbus A320 and 22 ATR Turboprops. Visionary and constantly affirmative, Capt. Gopinath had brought about a complete revolution to the highly controlled Indian heavens. But every revolution carries the seeds of its own death. Competition was increasing rapidly now the model had been validated, and also the Indian airport infrastructure was on the verge of a massive dislocation. New business models had to be devised to remain ahead of the curve. Learning objectives: Learn about new business models, inventions, growth management, low cost carrier strategies, Indian problems.

Subjects: Low cost carrier; India; Growth management; Entrepreneurship
Settings: India ; Airline ; 40 aircrafts; 1,000 employees ; 2002-2007

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Air Deccan (A): “Simpliflying” Air Travel In India

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