Over the next three months, the airline plans to connect nine regional cities with Bangalore, including Hubli and Mangalore in Karnataka and Jaipur in Rajasthan.
"We have given a list of cities that will be connected to the regulator (DGCA) and are waiting for its approval. We will announce the schedule next week," Chandilya said. The $30-million Indo-Malaysian joint venture of AirAsia Berhad (49 percent), Tata Sons (30 percent) and Telstra Tradeplace (21 percent) is taking to skies a month after the regulator DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation) granted permission May 7 to launch its budget operations across the country. Though a late entrant in the budget-carrier sector, the airline will be competing with its established rivals such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Lite, Go Air and the state-run Air India to garner a market share to sustain its business. "Our fares will be 35 percent lower than the market rates. At this rate, we believe we can sustain. Going forward, we intend to reduce tariff further as we are sure we can make revenues with stable operations," Chandilya noted.
The airline's introductory fare has triggered a price war among budget carriers, with IndiGo and SpiceJet announcing promotional and discounted fares on many routes they operate. "Our long-term goal is that every Indian should have an opportunity to fly," Chandilya said. The airline plans to connect 10 cities with 10 A320 family aircraft in the first year of its operations, with majority of services in southern India, connecting metros with tier-2 and tier-three cities. The airline has about 300 people on rolls to commence its operations. The airline's parent company Air Asia operates direct flights from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Bangkok in Thailand to Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Tiruchirappalli and Kolkata. (IANS)