Amar Abrol, MD and CEO, AirAsia India speaks about the airline’s plans for adding more destinations across the country and the training focus with the launch of its new training facility in India
How do you perceive the growth story of AirAsia India? What have been the key milestones?
The Indian aviation industry, growing by more than 20 per cent, is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. AirAsia India finds great scope for growth in India and we are here for the long run. 2016 was a significant year for AirAsia India that we’d like to talk about. In December 2016, AirAsia India’s headcount crossed the 1000 mark and our overall sales and revenues hit a triple digit figure the same month, breaking all records since inception.
What remains your focused strategy for increasing operations across the country?
Our brand focus is in line with the government’s vision to improve regional connectivity. We added Srinagar and Bagdogra to our network of destinations in January this year and plan to add more destinations and seep deeper in the Indian market in the coming months. Kolkata will be our next base that will come up in the next few months. One of our key investments this year will also be on talent recruitment; we intend to increase our head count significantly this year to support our operations.
How are you positioning the brand USP of Air Asia for the Indian domestic traveller?
AirAsia India is focussing on increasing its connectivity across the country by reaching out to new and aspirational flyers, with youth and family as primary focus. We are working towards establishing ourselves as an airline of choice and to enable every Indian to fly, whether it is a planned or a last minute travel.
Your training focus, particularly with the launch of the new academy.
In our efforts towards establishing AirAsia India as an airline of choice, we believe that training our Allstars the AirAsia way plays a crucial role in achieving it. Our new training facility, Anaz Red Wings is equipped with advanced coaching equipment to impart practical scenario-based trainings to all our operations staff to manage any security risk or emergency seamlessly.
Our training facility also boasts of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India (BCAS) approved Aviation Security Training Institute (ASTI) to train all security and non-security staff on effectively managing all kinds of security risk. The ASTI wing is credited to have secured the fastest approval from the BCAS.
This year, we will also have increased focus on corporate training and strengthen all other areas apart from just operational modules.