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Gopinath seeks partner for cargo airline

Swati Bharadwaj-Chand | TNN

Hyderabad: He pioneered the concept of air travel for the aam aadmi with his low cost carrier Air Deccan in 2003. Today, Capt Gopinath is yet again redefining the rules of the aviation game, albeit with a cargo airline brand __ Deccan 360.

A little over six months after he floated the freight and logistics services venture, that already has a presence in 50 cities, Gopinath is already thinking big __ a presence in 500 cities across the country over the next three years. And to fuel this big takeoff, he is in parleys with global and domestic logistics biggies to induct a strategic partner even as he has embarked upon the franchisee route to ensure a quicker expansion and better reach. “We are talking to 4-5 logistics players for a strategic stake sale,” Capt Gopinath, chairman, Deccan Express Cargo, told TOI here.

“I put in my own money to establish the business, improve it and build credibility. Now we are looking to choose the right partner,” he said, indicating that he could be willing to divest upto 49% equity depending upon the valuation and who the strategic partner was. And after having given wings to the common man, Gopinath says his dream is to creating a lasting infrastructure for the country and to create a new markets in rural India by connecting it to the rest of the country.

While Gopinath has already pumped in his own money to kick off the doorstep-todoorstep logistics venture by selling part of his stake in Kingfisher Airlines, franchisees have also pumped in an equal amount of money into Deccan 360, which operates a fleet of 7 cargo aircraft comprising Airbuses and ATRs and over 850 trucks and small vehicles in over 50 cities where it has warehouses.

Over two-and-a-half-years ago he sold out his stake in Air Deccan to Kingfisher Airlines. Does he dream of ever flying back into the passenger aviation segment again? He says he does not rule out a return to the low cost passenger aviation segment one day.

SKYWARD ALWAYS: Gopinath, the chairman of Deccan Express Cargo, is open to re-entering passenger aviation segment in the future


"Deccan 360 did a commendable job in getting across some paintings of a renowned artist for display at a prestigious art gallery in Mumbai. With the shipment being offloaded by commercial uplift due”.

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