The country's fourth budget carrier AirAsia India, the domestic arm of Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia Berhad, finally commenced operations on Thursday with its first flight taking off from Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport for Goa.
The flight, which took of at 3.44 PM, is being operated by a former IndiGo pilot Capt Manish Uppal with Diganta, a former pilot of the now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines, as the first officer.
Earlier, AirAsia group chief executive Tony Fernandes tweeted "Tony Fernandes @tonyfernandes... Getting ready for the first flight. All passengers on board. Full flight. INDIA here we come."
"Tony Fernandes @tonyfernandes... How ironic Captain Manish formerly of Indigo commanding our first flight for AirAsia India to @MittuChandilya," he further tweeted.
The new entrant had late last month announced the opening of bookings for the inaugural flight and offered fares as low as Rs 990 for the Bangalore-Goa flight.
AirAsia India has launched its services more than 15 months after it announced a 49:30:21 partnership with salt-to-software conglomerate Tata group and Arun Bhatia's Telestra TradePlace to set up a budget carrier in the country, in February 2013.
Soon after it received flying licence from aviation regulator DGCA last month, the airline had said it will launch the services in 1-3 months.
AirAsia India, whose top officials have promised to offer low and competitive airfares, will focus on connecting tier-II cities to begin with, according to airline sources.
"Our airlines' fares will be about 35 per cent lower than the current market rates," AirAsia India Chief Executive Mittu Chandilya had earlier said.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today