AirAsia India hopes to start operations in the next one or two months, Chief Executive Officer Mittu Chandilya said on Wednesday, minutes after the airline got a permit to launch a low-cost domestic airline.
But all those hoping for ₹1 fares when the airline takes to the skies may be in for a disappointment as AirAsia India has no immediate plans to launch such fares. “I believe our fares are low enough that we do not have to resort to such gimmicks,” Chandilya said.
The airline, which currently has one aircraft in its fleet, plans to begin operations with three planes and ramp up to around 11 by the end of the calendar year. “The exact number of aircraft will depend on when we launch,” he said.
While declining to go into operational details, Chandilya indicated that the airline may fly on some routes on which no domestic airline flies right now.
Declining to term the seven months or so that it took to get a permit as a delay, Chandilya told newspersons that AirAsia was better off than the last airline, which was given a permit after one-and-a-half years.
Terming the allegations that AirAsia India was run by foreigners as “ridiculous”, Chandilya pointed out that there was no foreigner in the company.
On how AirAsia India’s prospects will be impacted given that Tata Sons is in the low-cost and full-service segments with different partners, , Chandilya said it was a “coincidence” that Tata Sons was a partner in both ventures.
AirAsia India is a three-way joint venture between Kuala Lumpur-based low-cost airline AirAsia, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace. The project involves a foreign direct investment of about ₹81 crore.