There are several lessons Mittu Chandilya, the 34-year-old CEO of AsiaAsia India...
There are several lessons Mittu Chandilya, the 34-year-old CEO of AsiaAsia India, has learnt from the country and the experiences of other budget carriers. “Focus on costs. Keep them low and keep revenues stable and consistent. As you grow, you will find opportunities to make money. Never have double fleet and dont hedge fuel. Look what has happened to other players who have done this,” says Chandilya. As a 19-year-old, Chandliya used the same model for his startup and says it remains revelant.
Chandilya was in Pune for the inaugural Bangalore-Pune-Jaipur flight. “AirAsia has been a point-to-point carrier. This is the first time we will be having a hopping flight,” he said.
Chandilya knows a thing or two about making profits. Almost all his flights have been making operational profits, except for the Chennai-Bangalore route. AirAsia currently operates flights from Bengaluru to Chennai/Kochi/Goa/Chandigarh/Jaipur/Pune and vice versa. The airline has three aircraft at present and will add a fourth by the year end. It runs 200 flights a week with a high load factor. For the next year, the airline has placed orders for 10 A320 planes.
In four weeks, two new destinations, including Chandigarh, will be added. With 14 aircraft, the airline expects to run some 800 flights a week from next year. Headcount should triple by then from 500.
“When I look at the commercial plans for our airline, Pune has always been up there. Excited as I am with our growth, I must say that this is a sombre day for the industry and I do not think this is a good thing. I would never want another airline to go through what has been happening in the last few days,” he said, referring to the current crisis at SpiceJet.