“We’ll continue our efforts to woo passengers with cheaper fares and other attractive facilities than any other airlines on the route,” Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Bangladesh Noman Chowdhury told Xinhua news agency today.
The budget carrier from Feb 9 to Feb 15 offers fares as low as 2,000 taka (about RM107)) for Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur one way excluding tax and fuel charge to attract passengers, Chowdhury said.
About normal fare rate of the airline, he said the standard fare with return ticket has been set at 20,000 taka (about US$285) which is nearly 40 per cent lower than other airlines operating on the route.
Chowdhury said the airlines will carry passengers every day by its airbus A320 aircraft, which has 180 seats, offering no food on board and charging fees for carrying baggage.
“Despite offering low cost fares, we are not a threat for existing market players as our target is basically tourists of Malaysia and Bangladesh, not labour traffic which accounts for 90 per cent of passengers of the Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur routes,” he said.
However, other airlines said the operation of AirAsia pose a threat to other airlines on the same route.
“Obviously, it’s a threat for us. When we’re worried about falling air traffic, such an offer by AirAsia poses threat to our business,” a senior official of state-owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines said.
Local aviation industry sources said Biman and Malaysian Airlines control a combined share of 70 per cent of the market while other airlines occupied the rest.
They said an estimated 10,000 passengers were used to travel on the Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur route a week but that number dropped by nearly 50 per cent since July last year as Malaysia downsized recruiting workers from Bangladesh. — Bernama