Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Malindo Air Aims Big In India

NEW DELHI, Dec 18 (Bernama) -- Malindo Air, which is starting its flights to India, aims big in India by aggressively adding six more destinations by the end of next year.

It will start Kuala Lumpur-New Delhi at the end of this month, followed by Trichy, Tamil Nadu on Jan 2, 2014 and Mumbai, Maharashtra on Feb 15, 2014.
Malindo is also looking at Ahmedabad (Jan 27, 2014), Cochin, Kerala as well as Chennai and Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Chief Executive Officer Chandra Rama Muthy said.

"Subject to availability of aircraft we will also look at Amritsar and Pune," he said at a press conference here today.

Also present at the event were Malaysian High Commissioner to India Datuk Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, Tourism Malaysia Director Amran Abdul Rahman and Counsellor (Immigration & Consular) Muhammad Hatta Kassim.

Chandra said the current capacity of three destinations from India to Malaysia is 300,000 and Malindo expects to fly at least 250,000 Indian travellers to Malaysia. Despite India being a difficult market for the aviation industry amid higher operating cost, Chandra seems to be confident of making it.

"We are not worried about whether we can last long. But we believe we are here to stay. Our fares are reasonable and cost of operation is well managed," he said.

Malindo is open to interline or code-sharing partnerships, but is not keen on doing it with AirAsia India, which is set to begin its operations in India come January.

"We want to set up our presence here first, and as and when the situation requires us to do so. We will talk to potential partners," he said.

Naimun Ashakli in his speech said that aside from Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia, Malindo Air is the third airline from Malaysia having connectivity to the cities of India.

"The decision by Malindo Air to start its services to these long-awaited new routes emphasises the value and importance of tourism, trade and business links between India and Malaysia," he said. He said the Malaysian government hopes that this new air link will contribute to boost tourism in support of Tourism Malaysia's Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

Malindo's introductory all-inclusive return air farer for New Delhi-Kuala Lumpur, as well as Mumbai-Kuala Lumpur, will start from Rs19,900 (RM1=19.036 Indian Rupees). Its business class return fares for both destinations will start from Rs46,000, while the price for its destination in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, to Kuala Lumpur will be Rs10,000, said the hybrid airline in a statement on Wednesday.

Malindo's first flight out of New Delhi is scheduled for Dec 30. The inaugural flight will soon be followed by flights from Kuala Lumpur to Trichy on Jan 2, 2014 and Mumbai on Feb 15, 2014.


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