Shortly after Indian government gave the go-ahead for foreign airline investment in Indian airlines on September 14, Air Asia's Tony Fernandes, had tweeted:
“Fantastic news that India has opened up investment to foreign airlines great that Indian government has put people first. Will we be in India. Well, let's see.”
Since then Fernandes has visited India once in his private jet but refrained from making any statement. Now he has told a Malaysian news agency that the most crucial area that AirAsia always paid attention before venturing into a new market was keeping its cost down. And he feels that the cost of operating in India are much higher than many developed nations :
"This is the power of AirAsia. Everyone wants us, but the right infrastructure and environment must be there for us to go there (India). The airport tax is already very high and I even heard that they are going to further increase the tax, forcing many airlines to quit from certain destinations"
"It's for that reason AirAsia's medium-and long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X, withdrew from flying to New Delhi and Mumbai"
Cold feet then?
Pic courtesy - http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/bran_fern_abud_2010-8.jpg
Pti story - http://ibnlive.in.com/news/airasia-ready-for-india-if-environment-is-right-ceo/299484-7.html