‘Airfares in India will be a dog-eat-dog game’


airasia-mittu-cOne of the most successful low-fare airlines AirAsia is ready to take to the skies in India. A day after its global CEO Tony Fernandes accused Indian carriers of ganging up to block its entry here, Mittu Chandilya, the 32-year-old CEO of the airline’s Indian operations, says he could start flying by end May. In an interview to Rajesh Chandramouli, he details AirAsia’s plans.


Are you frustrated by this delay? (The original plan was to take off before December 2013.) No. Frankly, a lot of people didn’t expect us to come this far. I feel the government wants us here, but not our competition. Again, which competitor wants another competitor? I see their point of view. I also see the ferocity with which they have come at us. It shows that we mean what we say. We are here to change Indian aviation. When they are coming with that kind of ferocity, we will not disappoint them.

SpiceJet, Indigo and Jet Airways announced lower fares a few weeks ago. Your take? Everything that is happening now is not really low fare. It is very gimmicky. Spot fares are done to spur demand. To be fair to our competitors, they have done it at the right time for themselves. They needed cash. The challenge for any airline is to see how to keep these fares consistently low. That is truly the low cost/low fare airline. That is what we are aiming to do. We will not have gimmicky fares and then hike up fares.

Full interview here Times of India


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