Monday, April 23, 2012

AirAsia to re-enter India

Malaysia’s budget carrier AirAsia is trying to fly back into the Indian market to tap potential in short-haul international routes. Last month, the airline had pulled out all its flights out of India.

According to sources in the aviation sector, who sought anonymity, the Malaysian carrier is keen on a comeback since the bilateral landing rights, which call for exchange of landing rights for airlines of respective countries, have since been dismantled.

Sources said this means Air India would not have to compulsorily fly to Malaysia if AirAsia is allowed to operate flights into India.

“Earlier, there was restriction on one-way traffic to any country from India. Now, a foreign airline can operate flights into India sans a bilateral. AirAsia was constrained because of this policy,” a source said.

EK Bharat Bhushan, chief of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, declined comment.

According to a source, the Southeast Asian airline has already applied for Indian landing rights and would be able to resume operations soon.

The budget airline had slightly tweaked its strategy and will operate short-haul flights to destinations like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and others.

It will use narrow-bodied planes like Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 instead of the A330 it had used for long-haul flights during its earlier stint in India that began in late 2010.

“These planes will have a capacity of 170-175 seats against the 250 seats on planes it was flying earlier. They were having difficulty filling up wide-bodies aircraft and flights of such aircraft were not economical,” said the source.

No comments:

Post a Comment