AirAsia India opened bookings on Friday night, and immediately set off a fare war with a dramatic Rs. 5 (excluding taxes) promotional fare for 15,000 seats on the Bangalore-Goa and Bangalore-Chennai sectors.
Low-cost carrier IndiGo responded late Friday night with its own promotional offer of Rs. 1 tickets on the same sectors.
AirAsia launches operations on June 12 with a Bangalore-Goa flight. Bangalore-Chennai flights begin on June 19. Adding airport taxes and fees, its Bangalore-Goa ticket would cost Rs. 490, while a Goa-Bangalore ticket would be even cheaper at Rs. 291. A Bangalore-Chennai ticket would cost Rs. 490 with taxes while Chennai-Bangalore will come at Rs. 339 under the promotional offer. The travel period validity for the promo fares is between June 12 and October 25.
“I promised that AirAsia India will make quality travel affordable to all and that we will revolutionise the Indian aviation sector,” said Mittu Chandilya, CEO, AirAsia India, whose international airline code will be i5. “The goal is to enable guests who have never flown to take this opportunity to come experience flying the AirAsia way.”
Even without the promotional offer, the airline’s all-inclusive fare of Rs. 990 for Bangalore-Goa is way cheaper than competition.
“We want everyone to fly and this is why we are pricing it around higher class train ticket fare,” said Chandilya.
“Goa was home for my dad. Never been. He will be happy,” tweeted AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes.
“I would love to have 100% load factor. But 60% will be reasonable,” said Chandilya adding that the airline would have its base in both Chennai and Bangalore. By March-end, AirAsia India plans to have a fleet of 10 aircraft and connect 10 cities. It will begin operations with a single Airbus A320 and add at least two more aircraft in the next couple of months.
Chandilya said there would be “hot-seats” spread across the aircraft that offer more legroom and added comforts. “Yes it will be costing little bit more (than the regular fares),” he said.