DUBAI, June 3 (Reuters) - IndiGo, India's biggest airline, will focus its next phase of international expansion on lesser-known destinations while increasing its presence in popular markets such as Singapore and Dubai, its CEO told Reuters on Monday.

The budget carrier made a successful push into central Asia last year with flights to less-frequented cities like Baku, Almaty, Tashkent and Tbilisi, opening travel destinations void of major competition.

As more Indians take to international skies and as IndiGo prepares to take delivery of its longer-range planes next year - the Airbus A321XLR - the airline hopes to build on its strategy, CEO Pieter Elbers said during an interview in Dubai.

"With the growing desire and aspirations of Indians to fly international I think we have a great opportunity for also the more unknown places," Elbers said on the sidelines of the annual meet of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

"Singapore and Dubai and Phuket is still aspirational for a lot of people but there's a sort of next layer of destinations which we can add," he said, adding that it is looking at such places in Thailand and Central Asia.

With the A321XLR, IndiGo can reach destinations in parts of Europe and further into Asia, he added.

IndiGo, which reported record profit of close to $1 billion for the financial year 2023-2024, is pushing deeper into India, where it flies to 88 cities, and has doubled its global network to 33 destinations from 15 two years ago. It will add 10 new domestic and global destinations this year.

The carrier also offers connections to dozens of European cities through its codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines and recently ordered 30 Airbus A350 wide-body planes that can take it as far as the United States and Australia.

IndiGo had originally planned to deploy 30% of its flying capacity - measured by available seats per kilometer - into international markets by 2030. Elbers said it will now meet this target sooner.

Analysts say IndiGo's push into central Asia has helped it capture a growing pool of young fliers that aspire to travel overseas but are not ready to spend the money needed to see Europe.

They add, however that a low-cost, long-haul model is untested.

IndiGo is now gearing up to capture more affluent fliers by offering business class on some domestic flights by the end of this year, Elbers said, without giving any details on destinations and pricing.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Rod Nickel)