AirAsia's boost to India operations stern test for local rivals
Mumbai: Malaysian low-cost airlines AirAsia is planning to add 10 Airbus planes each year to its India operations, in a move that is going to affect local rivals IndiGo and SpiceJet, who will have to look at new ways to beat the competition.
According to the Wall Street Journal, India is one of the most important growth markets for AirAsia, and the airlines will offer the ''lowest possible fares'' to take on the competition.
Group CEO of the company, Tony Fernandes said that he wanted to meet India's aviation minister, Ajit Singh to get a final approval from the ministry, adding that the airline''s flights would start flying by the end of this year.
The report said that in February, Air Asia had announced plans to set up a partnership with a domestic Indian airline along with Tata sons and an Indian investor, under which it will hold a 49 percent stake in the joint venture.
The report added that the Malaysian company has already got a clearance from India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board to invest 800 million rupees in the venture, although it is yet to obtain an approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation to start flights.