AirAsia India targets to begin services to international destinations like Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur by October this year, according to a report by Economic Times. The international flights would cover short-haul destinations with 3-4 hours of flying.
"We have applied for permission to start international operations. With the induction of our 21st aircraft, all the requirements are in place for 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.
The airline, which is a joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia Berhad is planning to deploy 40% of its fleet size to overseas in five years.
AirAsia currently operates 154 daily flights. It recently added 21st plane, and in one year, it plans to make the fleet size to 40. The airline received a fund of INR 500 from its parent group for expansion plans. Following the funding, AirAsia appointed IndiGo veteran Sanjay Kumar as its Chief Operating Officer and Sunil Bhaskaran from Tata Steel as its Chief Executive Officer.
AirAsia India has announced a series of plans for the year, including forming tie-ups with companies to offer a slew of benefits to its passengers like onboard meals. AirAsia reportedly restructured its operations, launched loyalty programs and new inflight menu. It primarily targets corporate customers.
We have a new in-flight menu. We have also started a loyalty program called Big Loyalty. We are the only low-cost airline in the country, offering customers a structured loyalty program, which allows them to earn reward points, said COO Sanjay Kumar.
AirAsia India started its operations in June 2014. While Tata Sons holds a 51% stake in the company, AirAsia Berhad holds the remaining 49% share. It covers a total of 19 destinations carrying over 25000 passengers.