AirAsia India is an Indian low cost carrier headquartered in Bangalore, India. The airline is a joint venture with Tata Sons holding 51% stake in the airline and AirAsia Berhad holding 49% stake. Air Asia India commenced operations on 12 June 2014 with Bangalore as its primary hub.
AirAsia is the first foreign airline to set up a subsidiary in India and the company marked Tata’s return to the aviation industry after 60 years, having ceded Air India in 1946.
As of May 2017, AirAsia India was the 4th largest low-cost carrier in India, after IndiGo, GoAir, and SpiceJet, with a market share of 3.3%.
VIDEO – Kochi to Bengaluru Air Asia | First Flight Experience | COK BLR
n Feb. 2013, with the Indian government allowing a foreign direct investment of up to 49% in airlines, AirAsia Berhad applied to the Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) seeking approval for commencing its operations in India.
In March 2013, AirAsia announced that it would establish a joint venture with Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace with Tata Sons representing the airline with two non-executive directors in the board. The airliner planned to operate with the world’s lowest unit cost of ₹1.25 per available seat Kilometre and a passenger break-even load factor of 52%. It also planned to hedge 100% of its fuel requirements for the first three years and to achieve an aircraft turnaround time of 25 minutes.
AirAsia planned to begin operations to various tier 2 and tier 3 cities with Chennai International Airport as its main operating base. According to KPMG, the introduction of AirAsia was expected to cause another price war, ultimately leading to an increase in air traffic and some consolidation in the Indian aviation sector. AirAsia initially invested an amount of US$50 million and in preparation for its operations in India, it struck deals with online and offline travel agents.
On 3 March 2013, the FIPB officially permitted AirAsia to rent or lease aircraft and to carry cargo on its scheduled flights. The airline then applied for permission to schedule aircraft and transport passengers, which the FIPB accepted on 6 March.
AirAsia India was established on 28 March 2013 and became the first foreign airline to set up a subsidiary in India. In April, the airline started recruiting candidates for pilots and cabin crew. As the final procedure to obtain Air Operator Permit, a proving flight was conducted on 1 and 2 May 2014 flying from Chennai to Kochi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
On 7 May 2014, the DGCA issued an Air Operator Permit to the company. On 30 May 2014, the airline announced the shifting of its base to Bangalore and its first flight from there to Goa. AirAsia operated its maiden flight on 12 June 2014.
In June 2015, the airline made Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi its secondary hub for North Indian operations. In August 2015, Tata Sons increased its stake to 40.06% from 30% earlier by injecting fresh equity while Telestra’s share was reduced to 10% from 20%.
As of May 2017, AirAsia India was the fourth largest low-cost carrier in India, far behind IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir, with a market share of 3.3%.
In January 2018, managing director and chief executive Amar announced plans of the company to expect a fleet of 21 aircraft by the yearend, which will make it eligible to operate overseas flights.
AirAsia India is headquartered in Bangalore, India. Prior to the airline’s formation, Tony Fernandes, founder of AirAsia group, announced that he would like Ratan Tata to be the chairman of the airline; however the latter refused, though he later consented to being the chief advisor to the AirAsia India management board.