An AirAsia aircraft. Photo: Reuters

Budget airline AirAsia India – a joint venture between Tata Sons Ltd & AirAsia Investment Ltd – has ruled out plans to participate in the Air India stake sale announced recently by the Indian government.

The airline said it would focus on building its existing brand and flying on international routes, which is expected to happen from early next year, reports Press Trust of India.

The airline plans to fly international routes by the second half of this year. AirAsia India expects a fleet of 21 aircraft by the year-end, which would make it eligible to operate overseas flights.

The Indian government says an airline should have 20 aircraft before it can begin international operations.

Executives of AirAsia India, which commenced operations in 2014, have said they would feed into the group’s extensive international network, beginning with daily services to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok from Bangalore and Kolkata.

The Indian cabinet recently allowed foreign airlines to hold a stake of up to 49% in Air India in an exercise aimed at easing investment rules for the airline.

Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines are reportedly keen on investing in Air India.

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