Saturday, March 20, 2010

Malaysian carrier Air Asia’s Indian ops set to take wings

12 March 2010

Chennai: The Malaysia-headquartered low-cost, no-frills air carrier Air Asia has set its eyes on the Indian aviation market in a big way. Buoyed by an encouraging response from Indian travellers over a period of time, Air Asia has decided to enlarge its operations in India by linking major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in a few months.

With an unique online selling proposition coupled with its attractive price package, the company believes it can make sharp inroads into the Indian aviation market. With an average load factor of over 80% from its four existing destinationals in India such as Trichy, Kolkata, Kochi and Trivandrum to Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian destiantions through its seamless connecting flights, Air Asia is fast gearing to up to cash in on the ever-increasing India-Malaysia two-way traffic with additional flights from across all the major destinations, said Kathleen Tan, regional head, commercial, Air Asia.

Addressing the press here on Thursday to unveil the airline’s Indian strategy, she said, “We will be soon connecting all the major destinations in India with that of all Malaysian cities apart from providing connectivity to Bangkok. The number of flights a week is expected to touch 160 against 70 a week, including 12 flights a week to Bangkok.” To start with, Air Asia will come out with a one-way attractive ticket offer of Rs 3,489 between Chennai and Penang in Malaysia, which will begin in the last week of April.

Air Asia’s fares are significantly lower than those of other operators in India. The airline targets guests who will do without the frills of meals, frequent flyer miles or airport lounges in exchange for fares upto 80% lower than those currently offered with equivalent convenience.

“Instead of offering complementary meals or drinks, Air Asia introduced hot meals, a range of delicious snacks and drinks at an affordable price,” she added.


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