AirAsia India to fly to 10 cities by end of fiscal; may shift HQ from Chennai

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 31 2014, 15:00pm hrs
AirAsia India In March this year, AirAsia had taken possession of its first aircraft at the Chennai airport.
AirAsia India on Friday announced that its maiden flight on June 12 will take off from Bangalore to Goa at an introductory fare of Rs 990 (all taxes inclusive). The second service the airline will embark on June 20 will be on the Bangalore-Chennai sector, followed by many other routes giving connectivity to smaller cities like Madurai and Kochi.

Mittu Chandilya, CEO, AirAsia India said the airline plans to add 10 cities and 10 aircraft by the end of this fiscal. The second aircraft is expected to come to India in another two months. In March this year, AirAsia had taken possession of its first aircraft at the Chennai airport.

Our business model is point-to-point and we will have a number of hubs across the south, like our Chennai and Bangalore ones, Chandilya said.

The bookings for Bangalore-Goa service started from Thursday night and the fares will continue for at least two-three months, said Chandilya, adding that the airline hopes to break-even in another four months' time.

Expressing confidence that the airline would have enough patronage, he said: I would love to have 100% load factor. But 60% will be reasonable.

Asked about other airlines mulling reduction in airfares, to compete with AirAsia, he said: Frankly, my view on that is it will help companies to rationalise costs. That is the way, I look at it.

AirAsia India may shift HQ from Chennai

AirAsia India appears to have got cold feet in keeping its operational headquarters in Chennai.

Since forming of the JV with Tata Sons and investment firm Telestra Tradeplace, in 2013, AirAsia had announced that the proposed India venture will be headquartered in Chennai.

AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya, while speaking to journalists, dropped enough hints that it may shift its headquarters from Chennai to Bangalore or Goa, where the company believes relationship with the state government is better.

when pressed further, Chandilya said, Nothing immediately, but you should not be shocked if we do so.