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First flight of AirAsia India. Plane at the gate.
First flight of AirAsia India. VT-ATF at the gate at Kempegowda International Airport. Bangalore Aviation copyrighted photo.

AirAsia sends new A320 originally destined for India to Malaysia instead

AirAsia group has sent to Malaysia an Airbus A320 which was originally earmarked to intended to be registered in India. The A320-216(SL) fitted with Sharklets, manufacturer serial number (MSN) 6262 was originally destined for use as AirAsia India’s third aircraft, and was to be registered VT-ATD was instead delivered to AirAsia Malaysia and has been registered as 9M-AJT.

AirAsia has a large backlog of orders with Airbus S.A.S., which are consolidated based on common-pool requirements of the group’s various operating companies which include Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and India. For a geographically wide-spread group like AirAsia pooling orders to increase volumes is economically sensible. It is not alarming that an aircraft destined for a particular country is ‘diverted’ to the another. In fact, the second A320 in AirAsia India’s fleet, MSN 6034, was originally delivered to AirAsia Malaysia in end March as 9M-AJF. When AirAsia India expanded its routes, 9M-AJF was sent to India and re-registered as VT-ATB. This could also explain why AirAsia India’s first direct delivery A320 from Airbus is registered VT-ATF.

As we understand, AirAsia India is fully utilising its current fleet of two A320s on its existing routes. It is expecting its third aircraft early next month which is also when it should announce new routes.

Separately, AirAsia India has announced a partnership with TravelPort. In a release the airline said

Travelport, a leading Travel Commerce Platform providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the $7 trillion global travel and tourism industry, today announces a new distribution agreement with AirAsia India which will see the carrier distribute all of its fares and ancillary services through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform.

Travelport-connected agents are already able to book flights and ancillaries from four other carriers under the AirAsia Group – AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia X, Indonesia AirAsia, and Thai AirAsia. The new agreement means that, through Travelport’s aggregated shopping technology – one of the key components of the Travelport Merchandising Platform – travel agents will also be able to shop, compare and book AirAsia India flights and popular extras alongside those offered by traditional carriers in the same booking workflow.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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