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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Air Asia mulls Madhya Pradesh hub

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, September 04, 2013
First Published: 10:40 IST(4/9/2013) | Last Updated: 10:44 IST(4/9/2013)

Air Asia, the top airline in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia, has shown interest in establishing an air hub at either Bhopal or Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Chief executive officer of Air Asia Mittu Chandalia met chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday in this regard.

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Mittu Chandalia told Chouhan that Air Asia, which is going to launch domestic services in India along with Tata and Bhatia group very soon, wants to develop their base in Madhya Pradesh. Initially, itially, a total of 20 domestic estic flights from would four be cities started rtof of the state- Bhopal, al, Indore and Gwalior ior and Jabalpur.

If the airline sets up its head office in MP, it would also promote tourism and employment in the state.

“CEO of Air Asia told the chief minister that they would also start international flights after the domestic services. The launch of operations by Air Asia will not only boost tourism in the state but also increase the flow of passengers from South East Asian countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea,” said a senior officer, who was present in the meeting.

Chandlia said that Madhya Pradesh has huge potential in aviation sector.

“Air Asia is committed to offer affordable aviation services in India. Pricing and connectivity will be key differentiators. The improved air connectivity of Madhya Pradesh with other parts of the country will also boost commerce and raise income opportunities.

Madhya Pradesh government ernmentgovernment recerecently reduced VAT on aviation fuel to 5% from 23% with an aim to improve air connectivity.

Chandalia also held a discussion with chief secretary R Parsuram and other senior officers.

Additional chief secretary PK Dash and managing director of MP State Tourism Development Corporation Raghavendra Singh were also present during the discussions.


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