Melbourne businessman Cenap Kahyaoglu confirmed his plans to the Herald Sun yesterday and pledged to launch his carrier with 88 weekly return flights between Sydney and Melbourne.
While his timing might not be great, given the aviation industry is in one of its toughest periods in decades, Mr Kahyaoglu said his financial backers were determined to crack the market.
The unnamed carrier will be launched by a company called VivaJet Airlines, a business Mr Kahyaoglu set up in 2006, and will initially focus on the Sydney-Melbourne trunk route before eyeing services into the Gold Coast.
In its start-up phase, the airline will fly four Embraer E-190 jets and then add one Embraer E-170, the jet model that Virgin Blue bought last year to service its regional expansion.
Mr Kahyaoglu said he would not be adopting a low-cost model, but would primarily pursue the business sector, something Paul Stoddart spectacularly failed to pull off with OzJet in 2005.
“We want to stay relatively small and compete with the service rather than pricing,” Mr Kahyaoglu said.
Financially backed from Germany and the US, VivaJet will initially lease the Embraer jets for two years.