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AirAsia India to expand domestically before international operations: CEO

IANS  |  New Delhi 

will focus on expanding its domestic network and increase its flight frequencies, before commencing international operations to by early next year, the airline's chief, Amar Abrol, said.

Just a few days ago, the announced the addition of and to its network, effective March 17. It will also introduce new routes connecting Bengaluru, Kolkata, Goa, and

In addition, the will operate daily flights connecting its two hubs -- Bengaluru and -- which will become operational from March 25.

"We are not shying away from We will first commence flight operations to new domestic destinations and increase frequencies. In all we are looking at starting flights to four to five new cities in this year," Executive Officer Abrol told IANS in an interview.

"We are making the preparations for international operations but it will most probably take place by the first quarter of 2019," he added.

Currently, the operates to Bengaluru, Kochi, Goa, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Pune, New Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Bagdogra, Ranchi, Kolkata, and with a fleet of 16 aircrafts.

When asked about the first international port of call, Abrol said: "It can be anywhere from India's eastern seaboard to Southeast Asia, particularly to and "

According to Abrol, apart from adding more domestic flight frequencies, the is "steadily working" towards "break-even" by the year-end.

On the perils of high crude denting the airline's ability to offer lower fares, Abrol said will continue to offer "lowest possible fares" to its customers.

"We don't control But we do control other aspects; we are good at one thing and that is to provide affordable flying. India will continue to offer the lowest possible airfares," Abrol said.

The airline, like many of its peers, has been known to offer promotional airfare schemes. It recently started the "Big Sale" promotion with all-in one-way fares starting at Rs 799 for domestic travel.

is a joint venture between and Malaysia-based AirAsia, with a small stake held by two individuals. It commenced operations on June 12, 2014.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 12:10 IST