• We are excited about India, says AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes

    AirAsia is excited about India and is looking to accelerate there even though it is a tough market, the budget airline’s chief Tony Fernandes said today.

    The Malaysian no-frills carrier along with Tatas own the Indian joint venture AirAsia India, which started operations in 2014.

    Speaking to reporters at the international airshow here, Fernandes said AirAsia is excited about the Indian market.

    “We are excited about India. It is a tough market… We are looking to accelerate (in India),” the AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer said.

    AirAsia holds 49 per cent stake in budget airline AirAsia India, which currently has a fleet of six aircraft.

    About the Indian government’s decision to do away with the 5/20 international flying norm for local carrier, Fernandes said, “With the change in rule, now we don’t have to wait for five years and 20 aircraft fleet (to fly overseas)”.

    Last month, the government scrapped the controversial 5/20 norm and now any domestic airline can fly overseas provided they deploy 20 planes or 20 per cent of their total capacity for domestic operations.

    Referring to the government doing away with the 5/20 norm, Fernandes had said it was almost an end to vested interests.

    “Almost an end to vested interests. Power to the people. Well done @narendramodi . You kept your word,” Fernandes, who has been vocal against the 5/20 rule, had said in June. Zach Randolph Jersey

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