No-frills carrier AirAsia India today announced it was enhancing the frequency on the Bengaluru-Delhi route with a third daily flight, a move which is expected to ramp up competition on this key trunk route.
The proposed daily service will be operational from March 1 and AirAsia India has already opened bookings for the new flight, a release said.
With this, the airline will operate 40 flights connecting 10 destinations across India, it added.
The airline is also offering all-inclusive one-way fares, starting at as low as Rs 3,199, on this new frequency, it said, adding the bookings to avail of the special promotional fares can be made up to January 31 for travel between March 1 and November 24, 2016.
“We strongly believe in enhanced connectivity between Bengaluru and Delhi. These are two of our hubs and it’s only apt that we give our passengers more connectivity and choice in terms of flight times,” AirAsia India Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mittu Chandilya said.
AirAsia India is a three-way joint venture between Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia, Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace of Arun Bhatia.
At the time of its entry into the Indian market, the airline had talked about aggressive expansion plans, including for adding 10 aircraft per year and focusing on operations from the country’s under-utilised airports.
However, the airline later decided to go slow with its fleet expansion citing lack of clarity on international flying rules. Currently, it has only six aircraft in its fleet after over 18 months of starting operations.
Significantly, AirAsia India along with another start-up carrier, Vistara, has all along been lobbying hard for removal of international flying norms, popularly known as 5/20 norm, for domestic carriers, which will allow them to fly overseas.
Under the 5/20 regulation, only local carriers with five years of operational experience and a fleet of 20 aircraft are allowed to fly overseas. AirAsia India started operations in June, 2014, and today has a fleet of six aircraft while Vistara, which started its services in January last year, operates with nine planes.