Aviation

Losses force AirAsia India to take flight off first route

DELHI

Budget carrier AirAsia, credited with changing the market dynamics in Southeast Asia by offering bottom-low fares, does not seem to have an easy passage in the price-sensitive Indian market.

Its Indian subsidiary AirAsia India, in which Tata group is a partner, has pulled out one of its inaugural flights on Bangalore-Chennai route due to operational losses. Moreover, the airline has also been treading cautiously in adding capacity in the market and has missed its fleet expansion targets. “AirAsia India has withdrawn flights from the Bangalore-Chennai route. They were selling tickets at a price which was not sustainable,” an industry source said.

The airline did not respond to an email query from Financial Chronicle on the issue.

AirAsia had earlier said that some of the domestic routes might have been saturated in traffic volume, pointing towards low passenger load factor on the Bangalore-Chennai flight. The airline currently operates a fleet of four Airbus 320 aircraft with the fourth plane joining operation last month.

As per latest data released by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), AirAsia India flew 81,000 travellers in February, 11 per cent lower than January. It, however, recorded higher flight occupancy at 77.9 per cent during this period.

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