Malindo Air enters Indian skies

Cashing in on airspace between business and budget, Malindo Air touches down in India
Malindo Air enters Indian skies

Flying in that sliver of airspace between business and budget, Malindo Air will touch down in India this month. A joint venture between Lion Air of Indonesia and the National Aerospace and Defence Industries of Malaysia, the &lsquohybrid&rsquo airline features full service at fares lower than many an &lsquoeconomy&rsquo carrier. Ticket prices will be all-inclusive, including meals and baggage, and even in-flight entertainment. This promises to shake-up the mile-high market quite a bit in this country. Weekly flights from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur are the first sector of attack, at fares around Rs 17,000 (return), to be followed by flights to Mumbai. Success is uncertain, given that AirAsia X shut its flights down in both sectors last year, citing high operational costs. It will also be interesting to watch how AirAsia India, the new joint venture between AirAsia, Tata and Telstra, counters Malindo&rsquos projected flightpath to success.

Runway rights

Commit to connect &mdash or pay the price. That&rsquos the injunction Indian airlines should glean from the National Consumer Disputes Commission&rsquos recent decision in a case where a couple of senior citizens accused Jet Airways of making it logistically impossible to catch their connecting flight to Hong Kong. The consumer protection agency had the carrier refund the cost of their ticket as well as pay Rs 75,000 in damages &mdash peanuts, perhaps, in the larger scheme of things, but to many an air traveller, just desserts for negligence and inability to operate on time.

Travellers&rsquo tales

This gives new meaning to the concept of advertising in print. Qantas airlines&rsquo has commissioned some special on-board entertainment as a thank-you gift for their Platinum One frequent fliers &mdash a paperback tailored to the length of their trip. Written by Aussie authors and printed by ad agency Droga5 in collaboration with Hachette, there are ten books in the series. Which we think is fabulous inducement to take ten different flights, since these elegant volumes of thriller, satire, nonfiction, history and romance are collectors&rsquo items.

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