Monday, July 01, 2013

AirAsia may shift India base to Kochi

Kochi: Kuala Lumpur-based low cost airline AirAsia is exploring the possibility of shifting its operational base in India from Chennai to Kochi. If everything goes well, the low cost air services operator will launch its services on November 1, Kerala Formation Day.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes, who met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed on Sunday at the Cochin International Airport for discussions, said: “We have to say, we had a very positive meeting with the Chief Minister who was very clear (about) what he wanted. He wants to make it much cheaper for people in Kerala to fly.”
The group was in the process of applying for AirAsia India and the discussion held on Sunday revolved around looking at a base in Kochi to enable launch of more domestic flights and eventually international flights, he told reporters as he visited the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in the city.
Sources also said the government hoped to make AirAsia the State’s brand ambassador considering the success of the company, which has grown rapidly from two lakh passengers in its first year to 4.2 crore passengers in its 11th year.
01/06/13 K.A. Martin/The Hindu