Low-cost carrier AirAsia is making huge expansion in Asia this year, flying to at least six more cities in India, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Taipei from either Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.
According to industry sources, the airline is expected to start the Kuala Lumpur-Taipei route in June and Kuala Lumpur-Colombo sector in August.
"More destinations will be added, both in India and China, once new planes arrive. There will be new destinations from both Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok," the sources said.
Thai AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Tassapon Bijleveld confirmed recently that Thailand's popular resort island Phuket would become the airline's second hub in the Kingdom after Bangkok.
He, however, declined to disclose the planned routes although it is believed that Hong Kong would be the first destination.
From September onwards, AirAsia, voted the best low-cost carrier by London-based consultancy group, Skytrax, is expected to fly to Chennai and Hyderabad from Bangkok once Thai AirAsia receives more new Airbus from its European maker.
The sources said AirAsia's long-haul airline, AirAsia X, is likely to fly to several more routes from Kuala Lumpur to India, namely its capital New Delhi, business hub Mumbai, IT City Bangalore, Amritsar in Punjab and Kochi, the second biggest city in Kerala.
The airline, which had advertised for station managers in the seven Indian cities, currently flies from Kuala Lumpur to Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirappalli City since last December.
Last week, AirAsia X launched the Kuala Lumpur to Tianjin flight and is planning to fly to Chengdu and Xian soon. Other cities in China served by AirAsia include Macau, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guilin and Haikou.
AirAsia, which started with only two planes eight years ago, currently has over 75 planes and flies to 65 destinations.
Source : Bernama
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