Taking Flight

July 29, 2006 (LBO) – Malaysias top budget airline AirAsia is in talks to buy up a minority stake in local carrier Holiday Air, which is due to start international flights next year.

Ruzaik says he hopes to have the technical plan for Holiday Air complete by October this year, after which recruiting for the new airline will begin ahead of flights being rolled out next year.

Flights to about 16 other destinations including Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Doha, Muscat and Male are to be rolled out after the second month of operations, Ruzaik says.

“As at today we do not have the six metros of India, because frequencies to those destinations have been filled up by SriLankan Airlines,” Ruzaik said.

The government is in negotiations with India to expand frequencies to top tourist generating markets in India, including Bangalore, Bombay, Chennai and Delhi.

Holiday Air says it will start by leasing out five Boeing 737 planes, which are 148 seat aircraft, with prices possibly slashed by as much as 20 to 30 percent on scheduled rates.

“We are in deep discussions with Air Asia and close to a deal,” Arjun Ruzaik, Chief Executive Officer of Holiday Air told Lanka Business On