Tuesday, December 01, 2020

AirAsia India to expand network; plans to induct three more A320 neo planes by June 2021

As part of its fleet and network expansion, budget carrier AirAsia India plans to add three more Airbus A320 neo planes by the month of June next year. A joint venture between Tatas and AirAsia Investment Limited of Malaysia, the airline currently has 32 aircraft, including two A320 neo planes inducted recently. An AirAsia India spokesperson was quoted in a PTI report saying that an agreement has been signed by the airline for inducting five A320 neo planes. The Bengaluru-based, AirAsia India airline took delivery of the first A320 neo plane in the month of October and another one in November. According to the spokesperson, AirAsia India will be inducting its third Airbus A320 neo in the month of December. Also, the airline looks forward to inducting its fourth and fifth A320 neo planes by June 2021.

Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad, on November 17, had said it was reviewing its investment in AirAsia India. Also, against this backdrop, there have been concerns about the domestic airline, according to the report. The spokesperson while indicating that AirAsia India is planning to expand its network, said that the airline is planning to scale up the capacity to 70% from 55% at present.

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection, domestic commercial flights were suspended for two months, starting from 25 March 2020. With effect from 27 June 2020, the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowed increasing the capacity to 45 per cent from a maximum of one-third at the time of resumption of domestic flight services from 25 May 2020. From 2 September 2020, it was scaled up to 60 per cent. From 11 November 2020, airlines were permitted to function at 70 per cent of the pre-pandemic capacity. Last month, senior officials of the airline told travel agents that AirAsia India remains on the path of serving the market of India by expanding its network as well as the scale of operations.

01/12/20 Devanjana Nag/Financial Express

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