Kuala Lumpur, Oct 28 : Indian Government has reportedly given its green signal to AirAsia to fly daily to and fro between Kuala Lumpur and Tiruchi from Dec 1.
The airline would start selling tickets to Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu at midnight tomorrow, said AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.
"It will be a daily flight and we are looking at even adding a second flight now as the initial response has been tremendous," staronline.com quoted him as telling reporters at a press conference here yesterday.
Special promotional prices for the flight will cost RM49 one way while the normal ticket price will cost about RM200 one way, he added.
Fernandes said he expected a huge growth in Indian tourists to Malaysia and that he was not worried about the global economic slowdown. "I believe that you have to be innovative. While other airlines are cutting back, we are expanding and can take up the slack" he added.
Fernandes further said plans were now in the works for the next one-and-a-half years for AirAsia to fly to many more destinations in India, including Chennai, Madurai and Kochi.
It is learnt that these destinations, plus Tiruchi, are the places where many Malaysian Indians can trace their roots and travel to for family visits. "AirAsia X, meanwhile, will fly to places like New Dehli, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Calcutta," he added.
He said AirAsia would initially invest between 5 and 7 million RMs to set up infrastructure in India and was confident that they would do well. "This is an exciting period for us. I'm looking at a load factor of at least 90 percent for our first flight," he said and added that it had taken the airline seven years to reach this stage and with its entry into India, his mission as CEO was complete.
"I had said then that India would be the last place we need to go to. It is now over to AirAsia X to grow the business to Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States."