If there is one airline on an expansion spree in Indian market, it has to be AirAsia. All thanks to the Malaysian Government new policy to introduce visa-free entry for Indian travellers with effect from December 1.
Airlines from Malaysia have seen an exponential surge in number of air passengers between India and Malaysia post the policy implementation.
AirAsia expands in India
AirAsia Malaysia currently operates to 8 Indian cities with 2 airlines – AirAsia and AirAsia X. The Low Cost Long Haul subsidiary AirAsia X operates from Kuala Lampur to Delhi and Amritsar using the Airbus A330 aircraft.
AirAsia has already announced launch of non-stop flights to 9th Indian destination – Thiruvananthapuram. It will connect services to the South Indian city in February month of 2024.
AirAsia Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat in a recent interview said that the airline is intending to operate to 15 Indian cities by the first half of 2024. And with the recent update, it seems that the airline is well on line with it.
Rights to 3 more cities
Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) is a regulatory body overseeing economic regulations in civil aviation industry of Malaysia. MAVCOM has granted rights to AirAsia for flights to 3 more Indian cities – Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Visakhapatnam.
Airline is now permitted to operate 4 times weekly flights to each city. Jaipur and Ahmedabad flights can be started in February while Vizag flights can kickstart from April 2024. CEO Riad Asmat in a interview said that expansion will start with direct flights to Jaipur. With this flight, AirAsia will be the only airline to operate on this route.
Talking about Ahmedabad and Trivandrum, there is already presence of Malaysia Airlines at these routes. Malaysia Airlines operates 4 times weekly to Ahmedabad and twice weekly to Trivandrum.
India-Malaysia Aviation Market
India-Malaysia aviation marrket is one of those which is fully dominated by foreign airlines. Airlines in dominant position here are Batik Air Malaysia, AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines.
Primary reason for this biasedness is because 70-75 percent of the traffic on this route is connecting traffic to Australia and New Zealand.
Malaysia based carriers connects Kuala Lampur to these Indian airports :
- Amritsar Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport
- Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport
- Kolkata Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
- Ahmedabad Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
- Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
- Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
- Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport
- Chennai International Airport
- Trichy International Airport
- Trivandrum International Airport
- Cochin International Airport
Malaysia Airlines recently launched flights to 3 destinations – Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Amritsar. Due to high demand, the airline has already announced doubling of frequency on Amritsar route.
Source : MAVCOM