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Malaysia's AirAsia In Tie-Up With Sri Lankan Budget Airline
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Malaysia's AirAsia In Tie-Up With Sri Lankan Budget Airline

By Feisal Samath

COLOMBO, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- Air Asia Lanka, Sri Lanka's first-ever budget airline, has sealed a deal with the Malaysia-based AirAsia, the region's most successful budget airline, and may even consider selling out to the Malaysian operator, a local newspaper said.

Air Asia Lanka Chief Executive Officer Arjun Ruzaik was quoted as saying in the "Sunday Standard" newspaper that the deal signed in Malaysia early last month was primarily a technical collaboration, and thus his company remained a 100 per cent Sri Lanka-owned company.

"There is a future possibility for Malaysia's AirAsia to acquire our company. However, we are currently operating under our own team without any stakes from AirAsia," he was quoted as saying.

Under the agreement, all Air Asia Lanka pilots will be trained in Malaysia by AirAsia Malaysia.

The Sri Lankan airline is also expected to use the same AirAsia technology for booking of tickets through the Internet, the paper said.

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

The company officially began its staff recruitment early this month and is tentatively scheduled to operate its flights in March next year.

AirAsia, Malaysia's second national carrier, flies to several international destinations, including Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Macau, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, besides domestic destinations.



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