AirAsia's DGCA formalities over; operations to start in June

AirAsia India carried out its demonstration flight on Thursday, on the last leg of the regulatory process ahead of starting commercial operations.

The airline completed demonstration of flight handling during normal and non-normal events in the air to DGCA officials who came aboard as passengers.

AirAsia completed the ''proving flight'' with officials of the DGCA on board the airline's first Airbus A320 on Thursday and an air operator's permit (AOP) is now expected next week.

After months of delay and litigation, AirAsia (India), a three-way joint venture among Malaysia's Air Asia Bhd, Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace, is now all set to start commercial operations.

With the AOP in hand, Chennai-based AirAsia will file a flight schedule for its first few routes that are likely to be limited to South India.

In March, the airline took delivery of its first A320 aircraft - drawn from Malaysian parent Air Asia's new order with Airbus. It plans to start adding more over the next few months.

Headed by Mittu Chandilya as CEO, AirAsia (India) is the first new domestic airline to start operations after the government in September 2012 allowed foreign airlines to pick up to 49 per cent in domestic carriers.

The Tony Fernandes-led Malaysian carrier AirAsia Bhd has 49 per cent in the joint venture AirAsia India while Tata Sons hold 30 per cent and Delhi-based business man Arun Bhatia's Telestra Tradeplace the remaining 21 per cent in the airline.

Besides AirAsia, Tata Sons has also applied for a second domestic airline joint venture with Singapore Airlines, which is also awaiting an AOP from the DGCA after receiving an NoC from the civil aviation ministry in April this year.