Air Asia opens technology centre in Bengaluru

The low-cost airline is waiting for government approval to fly international routes
Last Updated 28 February 2019, 11:53 IST

AirAsia (India) Limited, a low-cost airline, is awaiting the government approval for overseas flying rights, a top company official said on Thursday.

"We have applied for licence and we will wait for the approval. Nothing more to talk about it now. We will be completing five years in May and have 20 aircraft, which is the requirement to fly overseas," Sunil Bhaskaran, CEO & Managing Director, AirAsia (India) Limited said.

Talking to reporters after opening the company's third global technology centre at Bengaluru, he said the company is following the government's rules and will follow the procedures before getting licence to operate international flights. He, however, declined to say when the company will start its first international flight.

The company's application is being considered by a group of minister headed by the finance minister. Recently, the government has relaxed its norm of flying domestic for five years and possessing 20 aircraft. Although, the government has done away with the rule of operating for five years in the domestic routes, AirAsia India is set to complete five years in May this year.

AirAsia India, which started operations in June 2014, has a fleet of 20 aircraft, making it eligible to fly international.

Bhaskaran said the company will wait for the government approval. He declined to comment on the company's fleet expansion plan. It has a fleet of A320 and may look at buying a Airbus A330 in the future.

Earlier, on Thursday, AirAsia opened its technology centre in Bengaluru. Co-located with other major tech companies in India's Silicon Valley, the centre will become home to around 35 of Air Asia's Software Engineering and Technology experts.

The team will work to streamline the airline's digital assets such as airasia.com and its mobile app and create new products.

"The opening of AirAsia's new technology centre demonstrates the airline's commitment to building its technology solutions in Bengaluru," Bhaskaran said.

(Published 28 February 2019, 07:32 IST)

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