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AirAsia happy to fly domestic, for now: CEO Tony Fernandes

He says the airlines is in no hurry to fly internationally

IANS  |  Paris 

File photo of An AirAsia counter staff attends to a customer at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia on Aug 28 in 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

India is a complicated country with aggressive competition, but is happy flying in the domestic market and has a clear path ahead, says group

"I am very happy with the way we are going... India is a complicated country and it is further complicated with very aggressive competitors. So, we are happy where we are," Fernandes said in an interaction with IANS on the sidelines of the Paris Airshow here.

"We waited to understand the market. We now know our strategy. We have a very clear path moving ahead," Fernandes said.

He said is not in a hurry to fly internationally.

"International is not such a rush for me anymore. I am doing good in domestic. That is the problem with our competitors. They made our lives so miserable we never realised how good domestic was. I am happy doing domestic," he said.

Asked what was different about competition in India, he said: "I have been in 10 other countries (but) we never had this kind of reaction... competition is not worse, the level of trying to get rid of us is."

"We are happy where we are, we will be a good mix airline between domestic and international when international happens."

Fernandes said that initially they thought the domestic market was too crowded, but realised it was not too late in the game.

"I thought domestic was very crowded, I thought we were late in the game but I realised we were not. In some markets, we are leaders already. So we have achieved very well, we are lower cost than IndiGo," he said.

The said that in the future, they aim to create a "community airline" in the Asean countries.

"We want to start the first Asean community airline," he said.

He said there was no plan to fly to Europe at the moment.

"We think there is potential to do secondary and tertiary cities in India and .. airlines generally just go to the big hubs. We think rather than waste our time in Europe at the moment, we will look at the secondary and tertiary cities," he added.

AirAsia was named the World's Best Low-Cost Airline for the ninth time in a row at the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, given out at the Paris Airshow on Tuesday.

AirAsia and AirAsia X won four awards at the Skytrax Awards, dubbed as the "Oscars of the Aviation Industry".

The are a global benchmark of airline excellence with over 19.9 million customer surveys completed worldwide by more than 105 nationalities, measuring standards across 49 key performance indicators of an airline's frontline products and services.

First Published: Wed, June 21 2017. 21:56 IST