November 28, 2017 / 3:46 PM / a year ago

AirAsia India expects revenue to double this year, triple in 2018

A man walks past the logo of AirAsia at Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Budget carrier AirAsia India expects revenue to double to 12 billion Indian rupees ($186 million) this calendar year, and triple to 18 billion rupees in 2018, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The airline, a tie-up between Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd and India’s Tata Sons conglomerate, made revenue of 6 billion rupees in 2016, Chief Executive Amar Abrol told reporters at an industry conference in Dubai.

Air passenger traffic in India, the world’s fourth biggest market, is growing at over 20 percent annually.

Abrol declined to say when the airline expected to turn a profit, but said it was targeting to launch its first international route in January 2019 which would most likely be to either Malaysia or Thailand.

Under new rules, domestic airlines can fly overseas as long as they deploy 20 aircraft or 20 percent of capacity in India, whichever is higher. Airlines previously had to wait five years before they were permitted to fly on foreign routes.

AirAsia India’s fleet will increase to 21 Airbus A320 jets by the end of next year, up from 13 today, Abrol said.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Mark Potter

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