New Delhi: Low cost carrier, AirAsia India stated that its maiden daily flight will be on the Bangalore-Goa route, with a price tag of Rs 990 including taxes. The airline will open the bookings this evening.
The first A320 flight is scheduled to leave Bangalore on June 12 afternoon, AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya told reporters here. AirAsia India, a joint venture between Malaysian carrier AirAsia, Tata Sons, and Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace, was granted flying licence by aviation regulator DGCA earlier this month after 9-month-long wait and various legal hurdles.
“AirAsia will be opening up the bookings this evening. By 9.30 pm our fares will be up there in our website. Our first route will be from Bangalore to Goa and Goa to Bangalore. We are very excited about that,” Chandilya said.
“Our collective goal is that every Indian should have an opportunity to fly. We have our plane parked here already, he said. Responding to a query, Chandilya said that by end of this financial year, the airline hopes to connect 10 cities, with 10 aircraft. “We have about 300 people right now. Basically, we have about 80 people for one aircraft,” he said to a query on how many people the airline would be adding this financial year. AirAsia India plans to have a 10-aircraft fleet within a year of start of operations and these planes would be drawn from A-320 family of aircraft ordered by the AirAsia Group. On March 22, AirAsia India received its first A-320 aircraft configured in an all-economy layout with 180 seats.
“We will be launching flights in about two to three months. We would soon be filing our flight schedules for approval from the DGCA, and after the approval we would seek slots at the different airports,” Chandilya had said after getting flying license on May 7.
The new airline was also looking at destinations including Trichy, Kochi and Kolkata, he said. Asked about the fares, he had said they will about 35 per cent lower than the current market rate. Earlier this year, Fernandes had said that AirAsia India would offer “dramatically low” airfares and would take air travel to masses in the country.
Known to have revolutionised the airline market in Malaysia and some other Asian countries through low-cost airfares, AirAsia chief had said that the strategy for India would be to offer ‘cheapest’ possible tickets. “We have to be the cheapest and stimulate the market. We have to allow the common man to fly. That is my message to India that flying is not only for the rich,” he said.
“We have a plan. Our hope is that in this financial year we will probably add about 10 cities. For that we will have about 10 aircraft. Turnaround time will be anywhere between 25 minutes and 35 minutes,” said AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya. Declining to reveal the name of the cities, Chandilya said that at this point of time the company would not look at entering Mumbai and New Delhi.
High taxes and other costs have been a major reason for AirAsia thinking to start its domestic flights in India with Chennai as a hub and not the bigger centres like Delhi and Mumbai.