Sources in the aviation sector say Malaysia’s budget airline, AirAsia is looking to re-enter the Indian market in a bid to target short-haul international routes. The airline stopped its flights to India some time back.

Reports suggest Malaysia’s low-cost airline, AirAsia is looking to make a re-entry in the Indian market. The airline is hoping to target the short-haul international routes. The airline ceased operating flights to India because of high fuel prices and weak demand some time ago.

Sources in the aviation industry, who requested anonymity, say that the Malaysian carrier is eager for a return since the bilateral landing rights, which denote exchange of landing rights for carriers of respective countries, have been scrapped.

This implies it is not mandatory for Air India to operate flights to Malaysia in case AirAsia is allowed to operate cheap flights to India.

“Earlier, there was restriction on one-way traffic to any country from India. Now, a foreign airline can operate flights into India sans a bilateral. AirAsia was constrained because of this policy,” said the source who was quoted in different news reports.

Reports hint that the budget carrier, AirAsia has already applied for Indian landing rights and is likely to resume air travel operations soon.

Sources insist that the airline has altered its strategy a wee bit and will run short-haul flights to destinations like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

The carrier will ply narrow-bodied aircraft like Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 in place of the A330 it used in its earlier stint in India.

“These planes will have a capacity of 170-175 seats against the 250 seats on planes it was flying earlier. They were having difficulty filling up wide-bodies aircraft and flights of such aircraft were not economical,” said the source.

The rumours are sure to fuel the imagination of budget travellers who look for airline tickets cheap flights to India, a top holiday destination.

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