AirAsia India set to take to skies on June 12; ticket sales open today

Rajalakshmi S | | Updated on: May 29, 2014
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Air travel within the country may become cheaper with AirAsia India’s first commercial flight set to take off on June 12. The carrier, which got conditional approval from the aviation regulator earlier this month to commence services, will start taking booking requests from May 30, said its Global CEO Tony Fernandes.

“Very, very proud to announce AirAsia India open for sale tomorrow. Wow. First flight June 12th. See you all in India on the 12th,” Fernandes posted on his Twitter account. He did not reveal details about the flight.

Sources said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has cleared AirAsia to fly the Chennai-Bangalore-Chennai and Bangalore-Goa-Bangalore routes.

AirAsia India is a three-way joint venture in which Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd owns a 49 per cent stake and Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace own 30 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively. The airline, which currently has one Airbus 320 aircraft, plans to begin operations with three planes and ramp up to around 11 aircraft by the end of the calendar year.

In the past, Mittu Chandilya, CEO of AirAsia India, had said the carrier would ensure its fares are “dramatically” cheaper than competition through tight control on costs. The airline expects to keep costs and taxes low by using Chennai as its hub.

Bumpy flight AirAsia India’s journey into India has not been a smooth one.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), on behalf of Jet Airways, JetLite, and SpiceJet, had objected to the grant of an air operator’s permit to it contending that FDI in the sector was allowed to help existing airlines facing financial losses and not fresh ventures.

Even the permit it received is conditional on the outcome of writ petitions filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and FIA in the Delhi High Court, which will hear the petition on July 11.

Published on November 24, 2017

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