AirAsia is poised to expand its presence in India by adding Ahmedabad to its network, thereby increasing the group’s reach to 11 destinations in the country starting in May. This expansion is a direct result of the Malaysian government’s recent decision to grant visa-free entry to Indian citizens from December 2023 onwards, enabling Indian nationals to stay for up to 30 days in Malaysia. Brand new routes connecting Kuala Lumpur to Thiruvananthapuram and Jaipur have also been confirmed, with operations scheduled to commence in February and April, respectively.
Scheduled to begin operations on May 1, the upcoming route connecting Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport will operate four times a week, employing Airbus A320s.
AirAsia is poised to be the second airline offering direct service to this location, joining Malaysia Airlines, which introduced its Boeing 737-800 service four times a week in December. Upon the commencement of AirAsia’s flights, approximately 2,800 weekly two-way seats will link the two cities.
AirAsia Aviation Group CEO Bo Lingam expressed appreciation for the Malaysian government’s visa-free entry initiative while emphasizing the company’s commitment to enhancing affordable and accessible connectivity between Malaysia and India. Reflecting on the growth of the company’s presence in India since the inaugural flight to the vibrant nation in 2008, Lingam noted the that both Malaysia and India are nations that have many unexplored opportunities within the tourist industry. He further expressed that is has been an exciting sight to see the surge in the tourist industry for these nations in the last decade.
At present, AirAsia runs flights connecting Kuala Lumpur to Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Tiruchchirappalli. Additionally, its medium-to-long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X, provides services to Amritsar and New Delhi. With the upcoming inclusion of Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Thiruvananthapuram, the group’s network will expand to cover a total of 11 destinations in India.
Source: Aviation Week