AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes
AirAsia Group CEO Tony FernandesReuters

Amid the rigorous campaign of launching India's cheapest airline, AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes announced that AirAsia India will add at least 10 Airbus A320 aircraft a year.

The airline's move to expand its operations in India seeing the rising demand for domestic air travel comes after the government in April gave clearance to invest in the country. It was earlier said that airline's Indian board had decided to make Chennai its headquarters, but recent reports stated that it may shift its operations to Kochi.

On Sunday, Fernandes meet the concerned state and transport ministers in Cochin to discuss about the clearance progress and also to talk about AirAsia India's business plans.

Prior to his visit to Kochi, Fernandes was in Chennai where he met his newly recruited staff. The CEO is scheduled to meet AirAsia Chief Advisor Ratan Tata and TataGroup Chairman Cyrus P Mistry in Mumbai on Monday.

"Arrived in Mumbai. Having a press conference tme before I see Mr Tata and Cyrus Mistry," Fernandes had tweeted on Sunday. He was successful in persuading Ratan to join the India board even though the chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group had retired last year.

AirAsia group is planning to launch its budget airline later this year with an investment of more than ₹80 crore.

AirAsia India is a joint venture between the Tata Group, Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia and Arun Bhatia, a close relative of steel baron Lakshmi Mittal. The airline would have a 49 percent stake in the venture, while the Tata Group will hold 30 percent, reported Financial Times.

"AirAsia believes Indian aviation has enormous long-term growth potential and is expected to produce tremendous upside for first movers," it said.

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