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AirAsia to add 6 cities in India on its route map by year end

Malaysia-based low cost carrier AirAsia is planning to add six more Indian cities to its route map by the year end, most of which would be Tier-II and III cities, said a top official.

The airline connects 14 Indian cities from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. “Jaipur will be added on April 21, Visakhapatnam on April 26 and Ahmedabad on May 1, followed by Patna, Aurangabad and Calicut,” said Kesavan Sivanandam, Chief Airports Officer, AirAsia Group.

“With this, we would exhaust all bilateral routes. We have already started discussions to explore new routes. India is a key and crucial market for us. It accounts for 18% of revenue. AirAsia has a market share of 51% between India and Malaysia,” he said.

The airline is focusing on Tier-II and III cities like Coimbatore, Madurai, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram and Ranchi, but it faces a dearth of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) slots, Sivanandam added.

He said the airline has 200 aircraft and another 25 will be added in about two months, which would be a return to its pre-pandemic strength. Besides, it has also placed orders for 650 new aircraft.

On the divestment of AirAsia India to Tata Sons, Sivanandam said it was a strategic decision as the airline wishes to focus on ASEAN markets.

A Malaysian Tourism official said 5.87 lakh Indians visited Malaysia in the first 11 months of 2023, up from 4.62 lakh in the same period in 2022. He expected 7-9 lakh arrivals in 2024 as Indians enjoy visa-free entry till the year end. (Source: The Hindu)

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