Thursday, February 21, 2013

Betting on partners, expertise & govt support: Air Asia

AirAsia, CEO, Tony Fernandes explains to CNBC-TV18 that the he plans to start operations with 3-4 planes and will scale up as per market needs. "We have plenty of aircraft deployed in the market and not deterred by Indian regulatory climate, the high ATF rates and airport charges in India. A progressive government keen on a growing economy is key and we will operate differently from other airlines in India."
Fernandes hopes to get all clearances and is confident the government will move as quickly as it can while refraining to comment on the timeline for clearances.
"We have got two illustrious partners and it too early to say what role Ratan Tata will play in the joint venture. I have a lot to learn from Ratan Tata and would love him to play whatever role he can in the JV."
Indian parties will play major role in running the airline and board representation will be proportional to investment. "We hope to start operations with USD 30-50 million and the big opportunity for us would be to devise a cost structure that will stimulate market.We are here to create a new market and address new routes."
Though the airport charges in some airports were very high, Fernandes asserts that the Indian aviation market is not all gloom and doom.