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AirAsia India calls allegations ‘irritating’

Suspension of India routes purely business decision,says Tony Fernandes.

Written by Agencies | Kuala Lumpur | Published: January 16, 2012 5:46:54 pm

The decision by Malaysia’s budget airline AirAsia X to suspend four of its loss-making international routes,including Mumbai and Delhi,is purely a business decision and was taken in interest of profitability,the airline’s co-founder Tony Fernandes has said.

Fernandes,who is also the chief executive officer of the airline,said allegations that the move by AirAsia’s sister company to drop the Kuala Lumpur-Mumbai,New Delhi,Paris and London routes,was to accommodate and establish a business strategy with the country’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS),was totally untrue and “irritating”.

“Azran Osman Rani (AirAsia X’s CEO) made a business decision. We were the first to introduce a low-cost long-haul airline model and now the Singaporeans are following suit,” Fernandes said.

He said in this case the best profitability was found to be in having between four to eight hour routes,with one type of engine and aircraft,which is the Airbus 330.

“So,this has nothing to do with MAS or AirAsia. On the flip side,MAS CEO,Ahmad Jauhari,is hearing that the route suspension is to accommodate AirAsia,” he added.

According to the airline,flight services to Mumbai would be suspended from January 31,London from March 31 and Paris from March 30.

Daily services to New Delhi will be suspended,with flights reduced to four weekly services beginning March.

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