New Delhi: Budget carrier AirAsia India will spread its wings to the national capital with the launch of its services from here Wednesday, nearly a year after it commenced operations in the country.
The airline had last month, while announcing its plans to operate services from the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, had said that New Delhi would serve as its hub for the North India market.
As of now, the domestic arm of the Malaysian no-frills airline AirAsia flies to Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pune from its Bengaluru base. The airline would launch flights to Bengaluru, Goa and Guwahati from here.
AirAsia India on this occasion organised a pre-launch special patch flight for prominent personalities here to give them a special onboard flight experience.
Among those guests on the special short flight included Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, his deputy Mahesh Sharma, AirAsia India board member Arun Bhatia, airline's non-executive chairman Ramadorai and several ministry officials besides AirAsia India chief executive Mittu Chandilya.
“We are very excited to step into Delhi. The celebration today is the result of constant hard work, meticulous planning and undying dedicated spirit of our team. I would like to thank everyone associated with AirAsia India for the support. We hope to enable more people to experience air travel in India,” Chandilya said.
The budget carrier had deployed an aircraft “Pioneer” named after the pioneer of Indian aviation JRD Tata, with a special livery dedicated to him to celebrate his contribution in the field.
“We are happy to welcome AirAsia India to IGI Airport. It is only fitting that a top rated carrier like AirAsia has chosen Delhi Airport as a hub for its operations. We will support the airline end to end,” Delhi International Airport Private Limited chief executive I Prabhakara Rao said.
AirAsia India is three-way joint venture with AirAsia holding 49 per cent stake while the other two partners-Tata Sons and Telestra Trade Place of Atrun Bhatia-holding 30 and 21 per cent stake respectively.
The country's fourth low-cost carrier had commenced operations on June 12 last year. It has a fleet of five Airbus A320 planes.