Domestic budget carrier AirAsia India on said it has inducted a new Airbus A320 aircraft in 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 per cent 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 match with the competitors in the world’s one of the fastest aviation market.
Low cost carriers account for over 70 per cent 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 ad Kolkata.