New Delhi: AirAsia India plans to fly international routes in the second half of next year after increasing its fleet to 20 aircraft, the minimum an airline requires to fly overseas.

The airline, a joint venture between AirAsia Bhd of Malaysia and Tata Sons Ltd, also said on Wednesday that its net loss had narrowed by 74% to Rs16.4 crore in the September quarter from a year ago.

“We are on target to launch our international routes the minute we achieve 20 aircraft in India next year. We foresee our Indian operations to be very profitable once we start flying regional routes and connecting them to our wide network," AirAsia Bhd said in a statement. 

AirAsia India, which commenced operations in June 2014, has a 4% domestic market share with a fleet of 13 Airbus A320 aircraft and competes with budget airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet. 

“Our associate airline in India has grown tremendously, achieving 99% year-on-year growth on passengers carried and a remarkable 104% year-on-year growth in capacity this quarter," the statement by its parent said.

Revenue increased 126% year-on-year, the airline said but did not specify an amount. It said AirAsia India would have 14 aircraft by the end of 2017 and 21 by the end of 2018. AirAsia India had posted a loss of Rs62 crore in the same period last year. 

SpiceJet reported a 79% increase in net profit to Rs105.3 crore in the September quarter from Rs58.9 crore in the year earlier.

Rival budget carrier IndiGo’s parent InterGlobe Aviation Ltd’s net profit almost quadrupled four-fold to Rs551.55 crore in the September quarter, helped by credits received from manufacturers for aircraft delivery delays and grounding, besides better revenue management.