AirAsia to fly to five major Indian cities this year
Wednesday 27 January 2010
Budget carrier AirAsia said Tuesday it will launch flights from Malaysia to five major Indian cities in 2010, with plans to carry two million passengers a year.
The new cities are Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai. AirAsia already flies from its Kuala Lumpur base to the Indian destinations of Kochi, Kolkata, Trichy and Trivandrum.
AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes said the carrier and its Kuala Lumpur hub was being positioned as a gateway between India and the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
"AirAsia has well-arrived in the Indian market to change the very definition of low-cost airlines as the India market is booming," he said at a launch function.
Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat said the route expansion would help fuel tourism to Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country that is also home to ethnic Indian and Chinese communities.
"With the large number of Malaysians of Indian origin, we believe that Indian visitors will find themselves on familiar ground," he said.
Fernandes appealed for flexibility from Malaysian authorities, who have tightened visa regulations in an attempt to curb illegal migration, particularly from the southern city of Chennai.
"We live in this modern world, we have to deal with the guys who overstay but we should embrace liberalisation," he told reporters.
"So my advice is we focus on the positives, focus on the fact that India is going to become one of the richest countries in Asia, is going to be a phenomenally important trading country."
Prime Minister Najib Razak said at the weekend after an official visit to India that he hoped to introduce a new visa regime that would make it easier for Indian executives, businesspeople and tourists to visit Malaysia.
Fernandes said AirAsia, launched in December 2001 with just two aircraft, is now the region's fourth-largest carrier.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
A380 celebrates first decade in flight - but how long will the Superjumbo's time in the sky last?
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
12 best hotels in London
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The most powerful passports in the world
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...
£Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...
£35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...
£20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...