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Air Asia India to take off in June

Air Asia India to take off in June

Mumbai: AirAsia India plans to have a 10-aircraft fleet within a year of start of operations and these planes would be drawn from A-320 family of aircraft ordered by the AirAsia Group. On March 22, AirAsia India received its first A-320 aircraft configured in an all-economy layout with 180 seats.

“We will be launching flights in about two to three months. We would soon be filing our flight schedules for approval from the DGCA, and after the approval we would seek slots at the different airports,” AirAsia had told reporter after getting flying license on May 7.

The new airline was also looking at destinations including Trichy, Kochi and Kolkata, he said.

Asked about the fares, he had said they will about 35 per cent lower than the current market rate.
Earlier this year, Mr Fernandes had told reporters that AirAsia India would offer “dramatically low” airfares and would take air travel to masses in the country.

Known to have revolutionised the airline market in Malaysia and some other Asian countries through low-cost airfares, AirAsia chief had said that the strategy for India would be to offer “cheapest” possible tickets.

“We have to be the cheapest and stimulate the market. We have to allow the common man to fly. That is my message to India that flying is not only for the rich,” he said.

High taxes and other costs have been a major reason for AirAsia thinking to start its domestic flights in India with Chennai as a hub and not the bigger centres like Delhi and Mumbai.

AirAsia is however hopeful that more state governments would open to the idea of lowering air travel costs.

The Malaysia-based AirAsia that has a stake in the new airline.

Start-up carrier AirAsia India a joint venture between Malaysia-based low-cost carrierAirAsia, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace recently got the licence from aviation regulator DGCA to operate in India.

The new airline was granted the licence subject to the final outcome of cases opposing grant of the permit in the Delhi High Court. The new airline was granted permission to operate in India under the new FDI law that allows a foreign airline to pick up stake in an Indian carrier upto 49 percent.

Fernandes earlier hit out at Indian airlines saying the entire civil aviation industry had tried to block AirAsia’s entry into India.


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