Aug 29, 2008

Business - Deccan to be rebranded Kingfisher Red

Low-cost carrier Simplify Deccan will be rebranded Kingfisher Red, a separate brand identity from Vijay Mallya-promoted full-service carrier Kingfisher Airlines.Beginning Friday, the airline will also replace its blue signature colour with red. The airline will also be operating under the flight code IT instead of the current DN, sources said.Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher merged with Deccan after the liquor baron’s flagship UB Group acquired the low-cost airline Air Deccan in December last year. The legal merger of the two separate brands is expected by the end of this month.Kingfisher Airlines executives declined to comment on the changes. Details of the different brand positioning of the two carriers are expected to be announced in Bangalore in a week.This will be the second rebranding for Simplify Deccan, which was launched in August 2003 with the silk-farmer-turned-aviator and owner of the airline Captain G R Gopinath promoting the concept of low-cost airlines with the tagline “Farmers can fly too”.In December 2007 Mallya rebranded Air Deccan as Simplify Deccan with new livery and logo at an estimated cost of over Rs 50 crore.The rebranding followed an exhaustive market study that showed that although the brand was closely associated with pioneering the low-cost airline business, it was perceived as a carrier that was consistently late and suffered serious service issues.

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