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AirAsia India adds A320 aircraft to fleet, will launch three new routes

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-09-2017 PTI

Mumbai: Domestic budget carrier AirAsia India on Friday said it has inducted a new Airbus A320 aircraft into its fleet and will commence flight services to three new routes from Ranchi from next month.

AirAsia India will introduce flights from Ranchi to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar, besides scaling up the frequency on Bengaluru-Hyderabad route, the airline said in a statement. “We are happy to add new routes connecting tier-II cities, while making air travel affordable to one and all,” AirAsia India’s managing director and chief executive officer Amar Abrol said.

With the induction of the new plane, AirAsia India has now a fleet of 13 A320 aircraft, which are not in sync with its plans of adding 10 aircraft per year, announced at the time of launch in June 2013. AirAsia plans to aggressively grow its Indian joint venture fleet by adding 10 planes a year and “India will become a very big hub for us eventually,” AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes had said at the time of launch of services more than three years ago.

With a meagre 3.4% market share in the April-June quarter of the fiscal and just 13 aircraft with 16 destinations in its network, the Bengaluru-headquartered airline is struggling to keep up with competitors in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.

Low cost carriers account for over 70% of the total domestic air passenger traffic, which stood at 9.65 million in July this year. AirAsia India currently flies to Kochi, Goa, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Pune, Guwahati, Imphal, Vizag, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Bagdogra, and Ranchi and Bhubaneswar from its three hubs—Bengaluru, Delhi and Kolkata.

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