Air Asia to soon offer its services to Indian travellers

It is hoped that the High Court's verdict will make it possible for Air Asia to take to the sky soon and serve the air travellers the best service that money can buy

Mittu Chandilya, chief executive of Air Asia, speaking to newspersons after receiving the operating permit from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), confirmed that the carrier is hopeful of starting to serve the domestic travellers soon, possibly, in about 8-10 weeks from now, if not earlier.

 

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay grant of flying licence to AirAsia India by aviation regulator DGCA.

 

Initially, it is reported, that they plan to operate with three aircrafts and the fleet is expected to reach eleven by the end of this year.

 

The exact launch date of this new low cost domestic carrier may be announced shortly, along with the initial destinations that they will cover. It would appear, they would be adding one aircraft more per month to reach 11 by December this year.

 

It may recalled that, earlier this year, Air Costa was launched from Vijayawada and has been operating in the Southern sector, with a fairly good occupancy rates.

 

India's largest domestic airline, IndiGo and other operators in the market, though the Federation had made every attempt possible to prevent the entry of Air Asia. In fact, led by Dr Subramanian Swamy of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a case filed against their entry into the domestic market  in the Delhi HC.

 

It is hoped that the High Court's verdict will make it possible for Air Asia to take to the sky soon and serve the air travellers the best service that money can buy.

 

A few months earlier, there was a debate whether the rule of five aircrafts and 20 years experience should be mandatory before the airline concerned is allowed to travel to foreign destinations. So far, this ruling stands and, if at a later date this is waived or revoked, it would help airlines like Air Asia to extend its service overseas, because of its inherent existing connections.

 

In due course, Tata-SIA may also get the DGCA clearance. Since Tata Sons are associated with both Air Asia and Tata-SIA, chances of both airlines supplementing and complementing each other on routes will enhance the service to the travellers.

 

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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