AirAsia India, which has promised at least 30% cheaper fares than those being offered by existing Indian carriers, would begin operations from June 12. The airline will start selling tickets from Friday, AirAsia group chief executive Tony Fernandes announced on Thursday.
Air Asia Japan President Kazuyuki Iwakata (front C) and his company's cabin attendants wave during a photo session with newly designed Airbus A320 at the Narita International airport. (AFP photo/Toshifumi Kitamura)
AirAsia India, a joint venture between Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia, Tata Group and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd, is likely to begin operations with a single Airbus A320 and add two more aircraft in the next couple of months.
To start with, the airline will operate three daily flights: Bangalore-Chennai-Bangalore, Bangalore-Goa-Bangalore and Bangalore-Chennai-Bangalore.
"The flight schedule has been approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after the airline got slots from the respective airports. The aircraft utilisation time would be around 11 hours," a source said.
"Very very proud to announce AirAsia India open for sale tomorrow. Wow. First flight June 12th. See you all In India on the 12th (sic)," tweeted Fernandes.
"AirAsia India would be opening for sales tomorrow! Guess where we would be flying to," said Mittu Chandilya, chief executive officer, AirAsia India, in a tweet.
On May 7, the aviation regulator DGCA granted an operator’s permit to AirAsia India.
AirAsia India’s entry will bring cheer to the passengers for it comes at a time when fares offered by Indian budget carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet are more or less the same as those offered by full service carriers like Jet Airways and Air India. All Indian carriers except IndiGo are bleeding.
Fernandes has promised "nano fares" and has said that the revenue management of Indian carriers was "very poor" and air fares were "just too high".