21 November 2009
SEPANG: AirAsia is set to be the most connected non-local airline in India with nine new destinations.
Three new flights to the Indian cities of Kochi, Kolkata and Trivandrum were launched in Kolkata yesterday, adding to AirAsia’s existing destination of Tiruchirappalli, which was launched last year.
“AirAsia is now operating in a market of 2.5 billion people and it is a nice position to be in,” said AirAsia CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes in a press conference yesterday.
The low-cost airline also operates flights to China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Taiwan, Cambodia, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, United Kingdom and the Middle-East.
Fernandes was watching the launch via video conference at the AirAsia office in the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal here before the press conference.
Flights to Kochi and Kolkata will operate daily while there will be two flights to Trivandrum operating two or five times weekly.
Fernandes also announced three more flights to Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad starting from April next year.
The three cities would be connected to Kuala Lumpur, with an extra flight to Chennai from Penang.
Fernandes also said that there would be flights to Mumbai and Delhi towards the end of the year by AirAsia X.
“About eight to 10 aircraft will service the routes once a day,” Fernandes added, saying they were also looking to fly to Delhi, Kolkata and Amritsar from Bangkok.
“The Indian middle class is growing fast. With our low fares, we can offer them a lot,” Fernandes said.
Fernandes was also presented the Airline CEO of the Year award by Hong Kong- based commercial aviation magazine Orient Aviation.
This was the first time the award was presented to a non-member of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, whose members include MAS, SIA and Cathay Pacific, among 14 others.
By Shaun Ho, The Star