Dear Departed Deccan

There was an article in ET yesterday discussing the future of India’s first low cost carrier – Air Deccan. Inspite of the vociferous protests that I have made regarding its in-flight service and flight delays, its a brand that i adore, simply because of its intention – to enable flight travel for the average Indian. I liked the communication too- right from the first TVC ‘The Old Man and the Sky’ to using the ‘Common Man’ as a mascot.

Kingfisher’s thoughts on bringing Deccan under a unified Kingfisher brand would be a bit ambivalent. On one hand, they would want to go international by leveraging Deccan’s five year existence, and on the other, they would hesitate to kill a brand which is so dear to many indians, especially in the Tier 2, 3 cities. But its slowly moving towards the former course of action. In any case, I quite believe that Deccan is only a small step in Kingfisher’s scheme of things, which would be aimed at trouncing Jet, and then becoming a major player internationally.

Now, there are a lot of stories about how Deccan really needed money, because of some heavy competition it had been facing for sometime, and because any price rise would take it away from its original platform, and how UB came in, first as an aggressive takeover bidder, and than a strategic investor. This one is a very good read. Its almost like a Balaji serial 😉 . While Deccan kept murmuring about how UB was only a strategic investor, it was quite clear that a complete takeover was in the offing, and it finally did happen along with new uniforms, a new Simplifly logo and a bottle of water. And when those forever delayed flights started landing and taking off on time, I could only smile at the irony.

After yesterday’s post, i couldn’t help thinking about whether in a social media utopia, Capt. Gopinath would’ve been able to appeal to passengers to accept the Rs.500-1000 increase in fares to keep Air Deccan afloat, and the equity of the brand would be so good that passengers would help. Meanwhile, in the real world, thus will die a brand that defined the aspirations of the Indian middle class, and literally gave them wings to fly.

until next time, decadent

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