Hyderabad: Budget airline AirAsia India Wednesday said it plans to have a fleet size of 20 by end-2018, thereby becoming eligible to operate on international routes.
The airline, which will soon add 8th aircraft to its fleet, is also offering lifetime free flights to Indian gold medallists, five years and three years of free flights to silver and bronze medallists at the Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil, AirAsia India Chief Executive Amar Abrol said.
"Our game plan, that has been approved by the AirAsia Board, is to get roughly, over the course of 2017 or 2018, 20 aircraft. We ourselves want to get 20 aircraft as soon as possible. That will allow us to fly international. By end of 2018, I think we will be there (having 20 aircraft)," Abrol said at a press conference here.
Without giving a figure, Abrol said the company will soon infuse "millions of dollars" to meet its expansion plans.
Abrol said the low-cost carrier will be operating its latest aircraft between Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kochi from October 8.
AirAsia India currently flies to 11 destinations with hubs in Bengaluru and New Delhi covering Chandigarh, Jaipur, Guwahati, Imphal, Goa, Pune, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Kochi in its destination network.
"As a continuation to the celebration of AirAsia's next chapter in India, the airline is pleased to announce a lifetime of free flights to the gold medallists, five years and three years of free flights to silver and bronze medallists at the Olympics and Paralympics.
"Indian athletes who won gold, silver and bronze medals will be able to fly to any of the 120-plus destinations within AirAsia and AirAsia X's extensive network in Asia, Australia and Africa," Abrol said.
Tata Sons holds 51 percent stake in the no-frills carrier, while the rest is with Malaysias AirAsia Bhd.
To celebrate the induction of its new aircraft and the introduction of a new route, AirAsia India is offering limited promotional seats for all-inclusive-fares from as low as Rs 2,999 from Hyderabad to Kochi and vice versa.
Guests can start booking their flights on the company's website from today, a press release said.