Budget carrier AirAsia India plans to add three more Airbus A320 neo planes by June next year as part of its fleet and network expansion. The airline — a joint venture between Tatas and Malaysia's AirAsia Investment Ltd — currently has 32 aircraft, including two A320 neos inducted recently.
In a statement to PTI, an AirAsia India spokesperson said the airline had signed an agreement for inducting five A320 neo planes last year. The Bengaluru-based airline took delivery of the first A320 neo in October and another one earlier this month.
"We will be inducting our third Airbus A320 neo in December and we look forward to inducting our fourth and fifth A320 neo by June 2021," the spokesperson said in the statement. The statement was issued in response to the queries sent to the airline's managing director and chief executive officer Sunil Bhaskaran.
On November 17, Malaysia's AirAsia Berhad had said it was reviewing its investment in AirAsia India. Against this backdrop, there have also been concerns about the domestic airline. Indicating that AirAsia India is on an expansion path, the airline's spokesperson said it is planning to scale up the capacity to 70 per cent from 55 per cent at present.
"We are soon planning to amp up our capacity to 70 per cent," the statement said. Domestic commercial flights were suspended for two months from March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.
The Civil Aviation Ministry permitted increasing the capacity to 45 per cent with effect from June 27 from a maximum of one-third at the time of resumption of domestic flights from May 25. It was scaled up to 60 per cent from September 2. Airlines were allowed to operate at 70 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 capacity from November 11.
Earlier this month, senior AirAsia India officials informed travel agents that it remains on the path of serving Indian market by growing its network and scale of operations.