New Delhi : AirAsia India will begin operating flights in the country from June 12, with ticket sales starting today,   the new carrier’s Malaysian parent AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said. AirAsia India, a joint venture between AirAsia, Tata Sons Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace, was granted flying licence by aviation regulator DGCA earlier this month after 9-month- long wait and various legal hurdles.

 Fernandes announced the launch of flights on micro blogging platform Twitter, saying that the “first flight (will be on) June 12” and ticket sales will open today. It could not be immediately ascertained as to what will be the route of the first flights for AirAsia India, which has made Chennai its hub. There are conjectures that the first flight could be from or to this southern city.

The existing carriers operating in India include low-cost private players like IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir, as also full service airlines like Jet Airways and state-run Air India.

AirAsia has been preparing its ground-work for launch of flights since a long time, including by putting in place the required manpower including Mittu Chandilya as its CEO. AirAsia India, whose top officials have promised to offer low and competitive airfares, will focus on connecting Tier-II cities to begin with.

AirAsia India plans to have a 10-aircraft fleet within a year of start of operations and these planes would be drawn from A-320 family of aircraft ordered by the AirAsia Group.

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