In a brief chat, Mittu Chandilya spoke to The Hindu on AirAsia and industry. Excerpts
How soon do you plan to achieve break-even?
Well, break-even per route may take some months. But, after the roll out of 10 flights and if we are able to sustain at least 60 per cent load capacity, I think we can achieve operational break-even in 3-4 months.
Will there be deterioration in service in the wake of fare war?
I am not going to be someone who will play the price war. I believe that in this price and fare I can deliver service that I want to. I hope that it doesn’t depreciate service quality across the industry. Our entry will only drive others to redefine their cost structure.
There is a point till which one can cut costs down while keeping the quality at the same level. But beyond that point, airlines need to be savvy on their own. We will never compromise on safety or security aspects while focusing on costs.
What are key infrastructure issues for airline operators like you?
When I mean infrastructure issues, big part of what I mean is not only airport infrastructure but everything surrounding the airport infrastructure – from and to the airport. This is something we raise as an issue whenever we talk to the state and central governments. Larger run-ways or run-ways that can receiver bigger aircraft and passenger-friendly facilities are among the key requirements for the growth of this industry. I think the new government will listen to the people, and will be able to do lot of things for future growth
Have you finalised the 10 cities you intend to fly to this fiscal?
We are in the process as we are taking into account the infrastructure development and other facilities in the cities we have chosen to fly. But of the 10 routes planned for the present fiscal, 60 per cent will cover cities in south, while the rest will include locations in other regions.