Mumbai: Barely two months after 9/11, Tony Fernandes, then a vice- president at Warner Music, acquired AirAsia from a Malaysian government entity for a token amount. For the struggling airline, it was virtually a rebirth. Whether it was the mega sale of free tickets, or last month’s $9.4billion order for 100 Airbus A320s, AirAsia has been making headlines regularly — all for the right reasons.
The low-cost airline has set up subsidiaries in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan and become the largest low-cost airline in Asia. However, its Indian story has been far from perfect. Instead of expanding and adding new routes to India, AirAsia was forced to pull out of Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad routes in the last two years. The airline cited high rate of taxation and tariffs in India as the primary reason for the move.
But Fernandes, according to media reports, seems to be having a rethink about India. AirAsia has apparently held preliminary discussions with the Videocon group for a possible joint venture in India.