AirAsia India, an Indian low cost carrier headquartered in Chennai, is set to start international operations in the second half of this year and raise its total fleet aircraft to 20 by mid 2018.

The airline currently has eight aircraft in its fleet but the law requires a minimum of 20 airplanes to fly on international routes.

In a statement, AirAsia India Chief Executive Officer Amar Abrol said the airline will have 14 aircraft in the fleet within this year, depending on the business performance.

“And, we will add another six planes by the middle of the next year. Then we will get to international operations,” Abrol said.

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AirAsia India, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Malaysian carrier AirAsia, is evaluating routes for its proposed international operations.

AirAsia Looking for Other Destinations

“But none of the cities is off limits. Any destination whether it is in the Middle East or Southeast Asia, which can be covered within five hours, is up for grab,” Abrol said.

AirAsia is the first foreign airline to set up a subsidiary in India and the company marked Tata’s return to the aviation industry after 60 years, having ceded Air India in 1946.

As of February 2016, AirAsia India is the fourth largest low cost carrier in India, after IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet with a market share of 2.2%.

AirAsia X to Fly To Honolulu

As this developed, AirAsia X is set to begin four-times-weekly flights to Honolulu via Kansai International Airport from 28 June after it received clearance from the Federal Aviation Authority to fly to the US.

Reports said outbound agents have been anticipating AirAsia X’s new Kuala Lumpu-Honolulu service considering that no other airline in Malaysia currently flies to any destination in the United States. –