AirAsia India has said that it would start services to two new routes - from Bangalore to Chandigarh and Jaipur - from September, for which the booking would start from Friday. The low cost airline service provider has also announced appointment of Globe Air Cargo India, part of the ECS Group, as its Cargo General Sales and Services agent (GSSA).
Speaking to the reporters during the announcment of the appointment of GSSA, Mittu Chandilya, chief executive officeer of AirAsia India said, "We are starting two new routes, Chandigarh and Jaipur, for which the bookings will start tomorrow. Considering that the Goa flight, which is a little over one hour is charged at Rs 990 per person, the new routes might have a price close to Rs 1300 per person."
The company will have five destinations which is operating with one aircraft as of now, is expecting its next Aircraft to come in by August and two more in September. He said that the company would have five more planes in total before November, this year.
When asked about the plans with flights starting from Chennai, he said that when the new aircrafts come in, there would be more services from Chennai and the company is working with the authorities since the Airport needs to be upgraded "a little bit".
The company currently operates three routes, which has seen load factors exceeding what it has budgeted. The flight between Bangalore and Goa has a 96% book load factor. The Bangalore-Chennai route is seeing a slightly lower 85% load factor, since the time slots it received for the season are not at the right time. If it gets a right slot for the service, the load factor would go up, said Chandilya. He added that the route to Kochi, which has been launched of late, see a load factor of around 98%.
However, the airlines has budgeted around 75-80% load factor for these routes and it has done better than that. "We kept the budget at 75% load factor, since it was safe and doable," he said. It would be reassessing the budget with a higher load factor for the new routes, he added.
Appointment of GSSA
The company has appointed Global Air Cargo India as the GSSA, which has started working with all the routes the company operates at present. The company expects the revenue from cargo to be around 10% of its total revenue, and expects that revenue from passengers to go up than the cargo, said Chandilya.
"We are not cargo experts, which ECS has its expertise in. We are excited to have this partnership," he said. The belly capacity for the passenger aircrafts of AirAsia India are around 3-3.5 tonne per aircraft.
Speaking about the tie up, Bertrand Schmoll, chief executive officer of ECS Group said, "We are glad to tie up with a major airline brand in India. We see a great opportunity in the country and will be investing more."
"This is the first domestic deal for ECS in India and it needs a lot of expertise to act as a partner with the airlines," said Rajendra Dubey, managing director - India, ECS Group. The cargo services would include transportation of pharma, electronic and some perishables, he added.