According to local reports, AirAsia’s India venture is setting its sights to open up international flights, joining its other fellow AirAsia Group subsidiaries in doing so.
The plans for the airline will include international flights with Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur identified as the first overseas AirAsia India destinations
“Our plan is to first fly to the Southeast Asian market and start with flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Our target is that we will fly about 7-8 per cent of our total available seat kilometres to international locations in the first year of operations,” said to AirAsia India COO Air Asia India Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sanjay Kumar in a report on India’s Business Standard.
"We have applied for permission to start international operations. With the induction of our 21st aircraft, all the necessary requirements are in place for an approval. We have completed five years of operations in the domestic market. Subject to regulatory approvals, we are planning to launch our international flights sometime in September-October," said the airline COO.
While addressing some overlap between AirAsia India and flights operated by its Malaysian-based counterpart, Kumar stated its plans are to compete more with Indian-based carriers. “While we will compete with our Malaysian partners Air Asia, we will try and minimise the competition as much as possible. Our main battle will be with IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India, which is putting in more flights in these routes.”
Before opening its first international flights, the airline has also revealed plans to partner with 200 companies in its corporate travel program in an effort to widen its customer base.
First launched in 2014, AirAsia India is a joint venture between the Malaysia-based AirAsia Group and India’s Tata Sons based in Bangalore, India. Since commencing local operations in India, the carrier has become the 4th largest low cost carrier in the country using the Airbus A320 aircraft on domestic flights to/from Bangalore and Delhi. AirAsia India currently operates 164 flights per day to 19 destinations in India.