Friday, 13 December 2013

AirAsia to take off in Indian skies by February 2014

AirAsia's launch, which was supposed to take place in January has been delayed by a month as the Malaysian airline has been awaiting operator's permit from aviation regulator, DGCA.

The aviation ministry has allowed AirAsia to import aircraft, but the launch has been delayed by a month - the carrier will now take to the Indian skies by February next year.

AirAsia has now managed to get a no objection certificate (NOC) from civil aviation ministry for the acquisition of aircrafts, which means the Malaysian airline can start the process of importing aircraft into India. But even that process is going to be closely linked to AirAsia getting air operator's permit, as AirAsia is not keen to get the aircraft into India and have them sitting on the ground unless they have a license to fly.

Both these issues will be linked closely to each other, but at least it is one step forward. They can start the process of acquisition of aircraft. In Phase-I, they are looking at getting in four aircrafts. They may stagger them by getting two first and two later and then eventually get an aircraft in a month.

As far as the launch is concerned, they are still pending clearance from the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA). With the air operating permit has not come in, the earlier launch date (end of 2013) has now been pushed.

The import permissions are subject to Air Asia India getting an airline licence. The aviation regulator needs to ratify pilot, cabin crew and engineering certifications in conjunction with the type of aircraft being imported.

According to sources, earlier deadline of January is likely to be missed and now they are working with end of February, but all of this depends on by when the regulatory clearances come in. As of now, AirAsia is hoping to launch in India by February end, so it is one step forward, but not really more certain in terms of being able to kick-start in India as yet.
Read More about "AirAsia India to launch with 10 A320s, wants obstacles lifted", 9 Dec 2013.


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