India top market but lack infrastructure: Air Arabia

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Dubai, Oct 3: India is one of the top markets for low cost airline but the airports in the country are costly and lack infrastructure, Air Arabia Chairman Adel Ali said here.

''Facilities in India are worse. And they charge so much in US dollars. Their infrastructure is lacking...Just look at the airports in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. These are the examples of good things,'' the Gulf News quoted the airline Chairman, as saying. Air Arabia will soon be flying to Hyderabad. ''We will be opening three new stations - Nairobi, Kiev, Hyderabad...India is a good market although competition is increasing there. Wherever we go, we have good reasons to be there. If the route is not good, we work hard to stimulate travel there. In Nagpur, Qatar Airways followed us,'' he said.

''...we will not be doing long-haul routes because that is not part of our business model. By the end of this year, there are going to be 45 destinations. Our goal is to add five destinations every year,'' he added. He said the airline needed airports offering minimum facilities and charging low so that the consumers will benefit.

''The region's airports and authorities still think low-cost travel is not a good thing. As a result, they charge low-cost airline a premium for doing less for them. We require the minimum services at airports, but we pay more than the airline that require more services,'' he said. ''From two planes to 18 planes and four million passengers, that is success to me. Our competition is not just with low-cost airline, it is with every airline in the region whether it is low-cost or not,'' he added.

UNI

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