AirAsia starts flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram

Sunday, November 22, 2009, 6:51 by Jose Philip

AirAsia , the low-cost regional airline based in Malaysia, has launched flights from  Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to the Indian cities of Kolkata (in West Bengal) and Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi (in Kerala).

The 3 new routes from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram had opened for sale on October 15, 2009.

The airline said it is planning flights from Kolkata to many destinations in Thailand, including Bangkok and Phuket, from 2010.

In a statement, Kathleen Tan, regional chief (commercial) of AirAsia, said the carrier currently has 9 hubs in south-east Asia, including Phuket and Bangkok.

According to her, AirAsia, the biggest budget airline in Asia, will enhance the frequency of its Kolkata-Kuala Lumpur service to two flights if the passenger load is found satisfactory.

Kathleen Tan said AirAsia is planning to start services to the Indian cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Amritsar and Hyderabad from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

AirAsia had launched its service to Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) in Tamil Nadu in southern India on December 1, 2008.

Thus, AirAsia became the first airline based in South-East Asia to operate direct service to a city in southern India. To date, AirAsia has flown over 1.2 lakh passengers to and from Trichy.

According to Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia, the company is confident that the new route will give a boost to tourism and promote local economies of both India and Malaysia.

With the introduction of the Kuala Lumpur-Kolkata flights, there is now direct connection between West Bengal and Malaysia via the Kuala Lumpur hub. And, Kuala Lumpur International Airport is a gateway to several destinations across the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Middle East, Tony Fernandes said.

AirAsia uses, for all its flights to India, a brand-new fleet of comfortable and spacious Airbus A320 planes, fitted with leather seats and spacious cabin, according to Fernandes.

Other in-flight comforts that AirAsia offer its passengers include a variety of hot meals, friendly cabin crew, excellent service, facility to check in baggage online and to pre-book meals, he said.

AirAsia is the first airline in the world to have abolished administrative fees and fuel surcharges from all its domestic and international flights.

Flights can be booked through AirAsia’s website www.airasia.com and through mobile devices at mobile.airasia.com

AirAsia – which has  its main base is the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport – operates flights to India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Australia, United Kingdom, the Middle-East, Bangladesh, and Brunei

The airline also offers a one-stop travel portal called GoHoliday, at the website goholiday.airasia.com as well as tour packages by which guests can choose holiday-lodgings from over 50,000 hotels.