AirAsia Malaysia is looking to increase its flight network from Kuala Lampur to India. With effect from December 1, Malaysia has introduced visa-free entry for Indian travellers. With this visa free entry policy, Malaysian Air Carriers have witnessed a huge surge in terms of passengers travelling from India. In past 60 days, Malaysia Airlines has introduced flights to 3 new Indian cities : Amritsar, Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram. Traffic is immense on these routes that the airline has already announced doubling frequency on Amritsar route. Enough of the traffic talks, lets return to AirAsia network and its expansion plans.
Currently, AirAsia operates to 8 Indian cities. Flights to 6 cities are operated by AirAsia, while remaining 2 are managed by long haul low cost subsidiary – AirAsia X.
AirAsia operates non-stop flights from Kuala Lampur to Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Trichy. AirAsia X operates on dense routes like Kuala Lampur to Delhi and Amritsar. Overall, both airlines operates 67 times weekly flights from Kuala Lampur to 8 Indian cities. Now, with the addition of more aircraft in its fleet, the airline is looking to expand its Indian network.
Network expansion in India
AirAsia Malaysia currently flies to 8 Indian cities. From February 21 2024, the airline will launch its 9th Indian destination with the launch of flights to Thiruvananthapuram.
The group aims to fly to total 15 destinations by first half of next year. It is looking to start flights to various cities like Goa, Jaipur, Varanasi and Visakhapatnam. Expansion will start with flights to Jaipur. This decision comes after airlines based in Malaysia witnessed a surge in passenger traffic fuelled by Malaysian visa-free entry for Indian travellers policy.
AirAsia Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat said that India has always been an important market for the airline. Asmat applauded the government move for visa free entry for Indians. Since 2008, the airline has a target of enhancing the connectivity between Malaysia and India. Talking about traffic rights, he said that airline expects the Government of India to allocate more traffic rights to add more flights.
AirAsia has announced a special sale to seven destinations in South India for RM189. Sale is applicable from now to December 24, 2024. This price applues to Chennai, Trichy, Kochi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Trivandrum flights.
Reaching pre-pandemic levels
AirAsia is looking to lease more aircraft as the airline ramps up its expansion plans. It has a huge orderbook with Airbus. Aircraft delivery will occur in stages and over a period of time. Current fleet utilisation stands at 80-85 percent. There are some aircraft, which are yet to return to the skies as they were sitting idle during the pandemic and hence, they are needed to go through special checks.
AirAsia want to revive the DNA of old AirAsia again that liquidated during the pandemic. The airline is not worried about capacity constraints as it believes that it has capability to re-establish grounds.