Malaysia-based low-cost carrier Air Asia will expand its network in India from this month, extending its operations to Kochi, Trivandrum and Kolkata.
“We have been flying to Malaysia from Trichy since last year and the new destinations have been added as southern India is the gateway to East Asian countries. Kolkata has a very good tourist population. So we will fly from there as well,” Kathleen Tan, divisional head of Air Asia told the Hindustan Times.
“We are also planning to start flights to Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, but these stations will be added later next year,” Tan said.
The airline has a fleet of 75 Airbus aircraft and will add four more by the end of this year.
“These bigger aircraft (Airbus 330 and 340) will be deployed on our Australian sectors as we have a large number of passengers to Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and London,” Tan said.
Tan said low-fare international carriers have led to more people opting for holidays abroad. “Over the last seven years travelling habits of people have changed. Now we have people spending a weekend in Kuala Lumpur and that is the kind of traffic we are looking at.”
Air Asia was aided by the global economic downturn because it found opportunities in routes vacated by full-service carriers, Tan said.