5:44 am - Wednesday January 16, 2019

Housefull: AirAsia India’s tickets sold out for next two months, says Tony Fernandes

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Budget carrier AirAsia India is already planning its future routes in the country and is betting on North East as the next big destination for air travel.

“It is not about going places where every other airline goes. It is about going to places where no airline goes and in that sense North East is an appealing destination,” said AirAsia founder and CEO Tony Fernandes today.

Outlining his bullish view on India, Fernandes said there is enormous potential for budget carriers in India but the first priority will be to reduces airfares in the country.

Last month AirAsia India launched flights from Bangalore to Chennai and Goa at advance fares as low as Rs 490 and Rs 990, prices much below levels which would cover costs of the airline.

It also announced that it would operate a daily service to Kerala’s Kochi from Bangalore with propositional seat being offered at Rs 500.

“The airline’s flights for the next 2 months have been sold out,” Fernandes said.

Meanwhile Ratan Tata did admit that both AirAsia and the Tata-Singapore Airlines JV, which is expected to take off by the year end, will compete with each other, but clarified that it won’t be as ‘enemies.”

“Asia is here to stay whether environment is conducive or not. I wish AirAsia all the success,” he said, adding that there is enormous potential for both budget and full service carriers in India.

AirAsia India launched its services more than 15 months after it announced a 49:30:21 partnership with Tata group and Arun Bhatia’s Telestra TradePlace to set up a budget carrier in the country in February 2013.

The airline will continue focus on connecting tier-II cities to begin with and fares will be about 35 percent lower than the current market rates, AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya had earlier said.

The other budget carriers in the country are IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir. Naresh-Goyal promoted full service airline Jet Airways also operates a low-cost service JetLite.

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