AirAsia India has dropped its plan to lease the Boeing B737 aircraft of the grounded Jet Airways, according to a report by Economic Times. The leasing plan was abandoned on the grounds that the low-cost carrier wants to maintain a similar kind of aircraft in its fleet. The induction of the new type of aircraft to the fleet will result in complications related to seat configuration, maintenance and skill requirement.
AirAsia India has earlier approached the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for permission to induct the grounded Jet Airways’ B737 aircraft. It also applied for regulatory approvals. However, the company did not pursue further.
According to the report, AirAsia India will continue to expand its fleet size by adding A320 aeroplanes. It currently has 21 A320, and it plans to make the size double in the next 18 months. The airline is looking forward to launching international services by the end of this year. On the domestic front, it has a market share of 6.2%.
AirAsia India is likely to launch international services by October, with flights to destinations of South East Asia, such as Malaysia and Thailand. It may also launch services to Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh, and further to Japan, the Middle East, and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) regions.
Under the current norms, airlines require a minimum of 20 aircraft to start international operations and also require five years of domestic operational experience.
Besides the launch of international operations, AirAsia India is also planning to strengthen its presence in tier-I and tier-II cities.
AirAsia India is a joint venture of Tata Group and Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad. It started its operations in June 2014.