Malaysia is keeping an eye on demand for international flights as borders reopen globally, especially in the ASEAN region.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said the demand would be dictated by how countries adapt to the current COVID-19 situation as well as the reopening of their borders.
"We also must look at demand, when there's demand, we will obviously pursue it. But it very much (depends) on how countries adjust to the current situation and how relaxed they are (towards international arrivals) which will dictate that demand.
"I applaud the government for what it is doing. Non-quarantine travelling is the most attractive thing for now," he said at a press conference to announce the airline's reinstatement of six routes to India at the carrier's headquarters today.
With borders being reopened, AirAsia announced that it will again fly again to Bengaluru, Kolkata, Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Tiruchirappalli with 71 weekly flights expected by year-end with the airline hoping to achieve the pre-Covid capacity of more than 140 weekly services to and from India.
"With the reopening of Malaysia's international borders and quarantine-free travels, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome back international tourists, as this will provide a significant boost to the nation's tourism sector and the economy, as we did pre-pandemic," he said. "I think contribution-wise, we are hoping India will contribute significant double-digit growth to our market. The majority of (the growth) will be in Asia right now."
Riad revealed that the airline is also working on plans to reinstate routes to Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand in anticipation of their border reopening.
" Indonesia is opening up and hopefully by next year, further border reopenings will happen. Planning-wise, everything is in place and I am comfortable with what we are doing at the moment," he added.