Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan N. Tata, on Thursday said that AirAsia India and the upcoming Tata-Singapore Airlines would be participating as “enlightened competitors and not enemies”. The former head of the Tata group was replying to queries at an AirAsia India press meet to formally launch the services.
Mr. Tata also pointed out that there was enormous potential for air travel at both ends of the spectrum – budget segment as well as full services category.
The “base of pyramid” had not been tapped, Mr.Tata said, adding air travel, given the population and prosperity levels, was bound to become an important form of connectivity, leisure, business and essential service.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said there was “absolutely no objection to Tata-Singapore Airlines… like-minded people in the aviation market.” AirAsia India is a venture involving Air Asia, Tata Sons Ltd. and Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd.
Mr. Fernandes said AirAsia India “will launch [services] wherever we can launch’’. North East, given its tourism potential, looked exciting, he added.
On June 12, the services were launched with a Bangalore-Goa flight and a Bangalore-Chennai service followed next. On July 20, it would be launching Bangalore-Cochin service.
On Bangalore, which AirAsia wants to develop as its base, he said: “We need to accelerate the number of planes coming in here. Bangalore [airport] understands our needs.”
AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya said the carrier would be looking at new routes, network and destinations.