|AirAsia India takes the skies.|
Thursday, 19th June 2014
Source : AirAsia
Its India CEO Mittu Chandilya had in a recent interview said it will offer fares 30-35% lower than the average fares of its rivals. Chandilya had said the first flight would 'possibly' be out of Chennai but that may change.
First flight June 12th. See you all In India on the 12th," Tony Fernandes posted on his Twitter account.
On May 8, AirAsia India cleared its final regulatory hurdle when it got flying permit from the DGCA. The airline, set up as a joint venture between its Malaysian parent AirAsia Berhad, Tata Sons and private investor Arun Bhatia, announced its plans to enter the country on February 19, 2013. In his tweet, Fernandes didn't mention which sector the airline would be flying first. But a person close to the development said the airline is likely to fly Chennai-Bangalore and Bangalore-Goa routes. The airline has its base in Chennai. AirAsia's entry is slated to heat up competition in the Indian skies, currently dominated in terms of market share by lowfare carriers such as IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet.
AirAsia India will most likely fly to all metros but exclude Mumbai. "Our network isn't finalised yet but we are looking at a 60:40 ratio of Tier-II routes to metro routes with 60 being Tier-II," he had said.
Industry experts said this sudden announcement of a launch date will instigate the competition into offering aggressive pricing. Competition will be aggressive; Indian carriers have a track record of engaging in unsustainable fare discounting and an unusual willingness to bear losses," said Kapil Kaul, South Asia CEO of Sydney-based consultant CAPACentre for Aviation.
Budget carrier SpiceJet late on Thursday evening announced a Rs1,499 fare on Bangalore-Goa and Bangalore-Chennai, the very sectors AirAsia India is likely to fly on June 12.
AirAsia will be entering amarket, in which a majority of the carriers are bleeding under heavy losses, owing to high fuel costs, discounted prices and a weak rupee.