HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It is April. A new start. A new financial year, new accounting year, and of course, a new academic year. And with everything new, how can a few surprises ever lag behind? Our very own Baba Ramdev is in the news, once again. Not for noodles, not for burgers, but, for his latest venture- ‘ Patanjali Airlines ’. Flabbergasted? So are we.
The winding up of Kingfisher Airlines has apparently provided Baba Ramdev and his brainchild ‘Patanjali’ with a new way of entering the market. The launching of a whole new airline on the 22nd of April will be a huge step for Patanjali and Baba.
Notable, it doubled its turnover from $180 million to $370 million from 2014 to 2015. About a decade ago, they had entered the market with ayurvedic medicines, wanting to rid us of common cold and chronic paralysis with their wide range of medicines.
They became the poster boy for healthy eating and living with Baba’s promotion of yoga and a healthy lifestyle. Then, not so long ago, the ban on Nestle’s universally favourite snack ‘Maggi noodles’ gave them a break. It paved the way for the ‘baba’ and his brand of ayurvedic medicines to capture the hollow niche in the fast food segment. Although predictably tasteless, everyone had to at least ‘try’ the magically healthy brand of noodles, which gave them a boost.
Ironically, the noodles were later banned due to the absence of approval for manufacturing instant noodles.
SPECULATIONS AND MORE SPECULATIONS:
Details about the launch are still under wraps and the launch itself is yet to be confirmed. Nevertheless, Baba Ramdev has unveiled some features of India’s newest airlines. And, like always, he is here to make a statement.
Wanting to be a do-gooder and provide cheap airfares (What is SpiceJet?), Baba Ramdev is on a roll.
According to him, Patanjali Airlines will embody Indian traditions and culture in every aspect. All efforts towards making it a ‘Desi Airline’ seem to be in motion. The pilots shall don Dhoti-Kurta and the air hostesses, traditional clothing. He plans to serve only vegetarian food on the airline. Chicken lovers, take note. Also, rumours say that the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, shall be attending the launch of the airline.
Here are the projected rates of various flights:
Delhi to Mumbai – ₹ 4000
Delhi to Chennai – ₹ 4000
Lucknow to Delhi – ₹ 1500
Lucknow to Bangalore – ₹ 2500
Although he is yet to confirm everything, we are eagerly awaiting April 22nd to see what else he has in store for us.
Rumours are surfacing that the news is, well, just a rumour. But, seeing such elaborate plans in place, one can only wait. Having already been the Launchpad for over 300 products, let’s see if Patanjali can add another feather to its hat, or hangar.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.