AirAsia looks to add Tier 2/3 cities to its India route map

Chennai: The Malaysia headquartered AirAsia airline, which would soon add Jaipur, Vishakapattinam and Ahmedabad to its route map, is looking to add more Indian Tier 2/3 cities, said a senior official of the airline.

The official said that India is a key market for AirAsia as it contributes about 18 per cent of the total revenue.

The 13th largest airline in the world, AirAsia currently flies directly to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok from 14 Indian cities.

“We are now looking beyond the metro cities in India. We have the bilateral rights for Patna and Calicut. We want to connect Madurai, Coimbatore and other Indian cities as well,” said Kesavan Sivanandam, Chief Airport & Customer Experience Officer, AirAsia, told the media here on Tuesday.

According to Sivanandam, the airline fleet strength is 225 aircraft, out of which 200 are flying now post the Covid pandemic.

He said there is a lot of pent up demand in India where passenger load is not an issue. The major issue is the availability of aircraft and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities.

Sivanandam said AirAsia has a market share of 51 per cent between India and Malaysia.

According to Razaidi Abd. Rahim, Overseas Director (Chennai) of Tourism Malaysia, till November last year, about 5,87,000 Indians had travelled to Malaysia.

He said with visa-free entry till December 2024, the number of Indians visiting Malaysia is expected to touch about 7,00,000.

Sivanandam said AirAsia will continue to maintain a major share of the projected passenger traffic between the two countries.

He said the average age of the fleet is 12 years and the airline has placed orders for 650 new planes and the deliveries are set to begin by the end of this year.

IANS

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