The nine-month-old airline will begin its daily, direct Kuala Lumpur-Delhi flights from December 30 with plans to later launch services from Tiruchirapalli and Ahmedabad in January of next year.
Daily flights between Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur are to begin from February, 2014.
“We are also planning to start flights from Cochin, Pune, Chennai, Madurai and Amritsar subject to availability of aircraft and permission to operate from those cities,” Chief Executive Officer of Malindo Air, Chandra Rama Murthy, told reporters.
He said that the airline expects to fly around 2.5 lakh of the estimated 3 lakh travellers who are likely to fly from India to Malaysia in view of the Malaysian government’s ‘Visit Malaysia’ campaign to boost tourism.
Expressing confidence about Malindo Air’s survival in the difficult Indian aviation market with its higher operating costs, Murthy said, “We are not worried… We believe we are here to stay, with our reasonable fares and lower cost of operation”.
He also said Malindo Air was open to interline or code- sharing partnerships, but was not keen on doing it with AirAsia India, which is begin its domestic operations soon.
Malindo Air has adopted a “hybrid” model, “which means we are not a low-cost carrier but our fares would not be as high as a full-service carrier”, Murthy said.
The airline would operate flights with brand new Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft, which would have more space between seats (seat pitch) in the economy class.
“The introductory, all-inclusive return air fare for Delhi -Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai-Kuala Lumpur would be from Rs 19,900 when the regular fare is about Rs 26,000,” Murthy said.
The airline currently flies to nine domestic destinations in Malaysia along with three international ones of Dhaka, Jakarta and Bangkok. It plans to later operate to Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Vietnam.
Announcing the launch, the Malaysian High Commissioner to India, Datuk Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, said that Malindo Air’s decision to start services to these new routes underlined the value and importance of tourism, trade and business links between India and Malaysia.