Budget carrier AirAsia India has reportedly sought official permission from the civil aviation ministry to start overseas flights as it has completed four-and-a-half years of operations in the domestic sector, a media report said.
The airline is reportedly targetting Southeast Asian countries in the beginning, The Economic Times said, citing an aviation ministry official.
The report added that the airline's application will be considered by the group of ministers (GoM) headed by the Union finance minister.
Airlines were earlier required to fly for at least five years on domestic routes before being allowed to fly internationally.
In December last year, AirAsia India had announced the induction of 20th aircraft in its fleet, making it eligible to fly on international routes.
Airlines can operate in overseas markets by having 20 aircraft in the fleet or 20 percent of total capacity (in terms of average number of seats on all departures put together), whichever is higher for local operations, according to the 2016 civil aviation policy.
The CBI had launched a probe against AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandes, Tata Trust executive and AirAsia India non-executive director R Venkataramanan for allegedly lobbying the government for international flight permits and violating rules that prevent foreign airlines from controlling an Indian operator.
In March 2018, the then MD and CEO Amar Abrol of AirAsia India had set a target to commence flights to overseas destinations by January 2019.
He said the company would serve those markets which were already connected by the airliner's group entities -- AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Thailand.
"We will be flying mostly to Malaysia, Indonesia and neighbouring SAARC countries as well. Bangladesh, Nepal and so on and so forth," he had said.
Launched in June 2014, AirAsia India's 51 percent is owned by Tata Sons, while the remaining 49 percent stake is held by Malaysian no-frills carrier AirAsia Berhad.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2019 15:38:52 IST