Chennai: Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia said on Saturday that its Indian operations should begin later this year with flights for southern region and the company would also look at setting up some ancillary businesses in the country.
“We are hopeful of starting Indian operations later this year with three aircraft serving Southern region,” AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told reporters in Chennai.
The airline would expand its services to other parts of the country in the second stage, he said.
AirAsia would also look at setting up ancillary services like air travel insurance and duty free shops in the country, said Fernandes who came to Chennai Saturday morning.
AirAsia has already put in place a strong leadership team for its India operations, which is a joint venture with Tatas and Telestra Tradeplace.
Former TCS chief S Ramadorai has been appointed chairman, while top industry leader Ratan Tata has been named as chief adviser to the board of AirAsia India.
Besides, R Venkataraman (former executive assistant to Ratan Tata) and Bharat Vasani (chief legal counsel of the Tata Group), are among the directors on the board.
AirAsia India is a joint venture of Air Asia, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace with 49:30:21 holding. AirAsia will be represented by Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Bin Meranu. Last month, Fernandes had named Mittu Chandilya as the CEO of AirAsia India.
AirAsia is expected to bring in competitive pricing in the Indian aviation market with its “nano” airfares.
These announcements had come within days after Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said all the issues regarding AirAsia’s India applications had been resolved.