Deccan Cargo gets a shot in the arm

GR Gopinath has sold most of his shares in Kingfisher Airlines to fund his cargo business, Deccan Cargo.

Gopinath’s Air Deccan, India’s first budget airline, merged with Kingfisher earlier in 2008 giving him a 5.4 per cent stake in Kingfisher. Aside from his locked-in shares, which rumour suggests he will also sell as soon as he is allowed, the move will go some way to forming the US$50-70 million that Gopinath wants to fuel his new cargo business.

Deccan Cargo started up this year when Gopinath bought three Airbus A310 aircraft from Air India. Its top management is formed mainly of former FedEx staff led by Jude Fonseka.

The Indian air cargo market, despite global economic worries, is expected to grow at 9.1 per cent a year, but has only 12 planes.

Gopinath told India’s Financial Express newspaper in April that he wouldn’t sell his shares in Air Deccan.

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