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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2704

Sri Lanka's first ever budget airline ties up with Asia's best

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 September, (Asiantribune.com):Bringing an end to months of speculation, HolidayAir, Sri Lanka's first-ever budget airline has officially re-launched as Air Asia Lanka, after sealing a deal with Malaysia-based Air Asia, reportedly the region's most successful budget airline.

Air Asia Lanka Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arjun Ruzaik told the "Asian Tribune" that the deal signed in Malaysia early last month was primarily a technical collaboration, and thus his company remained a 100% Sri Lanka-owned Company.

"But there is a future possibility for Air Asia (Malaysia) to acquire our company. However, we are currently operating under our own team without any stakes from Air Asia," he said.

The CEO, however, noted that there were logistical issues which needed to be sorted out, which was one reason why they haven't made a big fuss about the wrapping-up of the agreement.

In accordance with the agreement, all Air Asia Lanka pilots will be trained in Malaysia by Air Asia Malaysia. The Sri Lankan airline company is also expected to be using the same Air Asia technology utilized for the booking of airline tickets through the internet.

"Special trainers will also be flying in to even train our Air Lanka Asia ground staff. Maintaining the culture of a budget airline is very important to us and special training for this purpose is essential," Mr. Ruzaik noted.

The company officially began its recruitment process in early September, and has now tentatively scheduled to launch its flights around March next year.

AirAsia is Malaysia's second national carrier and was launched as a low-fare, no-frills carrier with the mission to make flying affordable so everyone can fly. Air Asia's aircraft fleet consists of 35 Boeing aircrafts and nine Airbus aircrafts.

Apart from domestic destination, the airline flies to several international destinations including Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Macau, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

- Asian Tribune -

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