AirAsia plans India operation soon

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The head of AirAsia says Asia's leading budget carrier is hoping to begin operations in India in two to three months.

The carrier this month won a court approval to operate in India after delays because of domestic airlines' opposition.

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia group chief executive officer, said Friday AirAsia India will begin flying with two planes.

Airlines in India are unprofitable despite a market of 1.2 billion people due to high costs and cut-throat competition. But Fernandes says AirAsia has studied the market and "we feel moderately optimistic."

He says with a new government giving rise to optimism, "it's a good time to be in India."