Air India Express’ Impressive Rise

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Summary

  • Air India Express has seen significant growth in recent years, with plans to increase daily departures and expand its network further.
  • The airline is expecting a surge in travel demand this summer, leading to a 25% increase in flights compared to last year.
  • With a new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and ambitious future plans, Air India Express aims to become a leading budget airline in the country.

While Air India is often talked about a lot, its low-cost subsidiary usually slips through the cracks when it comes to more extensive discussions. However, the airline has made good progress over the last two years after being privatized. And this summer it has more than 360 daily departures.

360+ daily departures

Air India Express’ business and network expansion in recent times will be reflected in its schedule for the upcoming summer season. The airline expects a surge in travel demand and will offer 25% more flights compared to the same period last year. This translates to more than 360 daily departures.

Air India Express Boeing 737

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Air India Express has seen impressive growth in the last two years. In the summer of 2024, the low-cost carrier will witness a 25% increase in its domestic network and a 20% increase in international flights. The carrier’s schedule will encompass an additional 55 domestic flights and 19 international flights, bringing the total to 259 and 109 departures, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, the Middle East continues to feature predominantly in its overseas destinations, and this year, Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Jeddah, and Sharjah will see additional frequencies. Within India, Air India Express will boost its presence by increasing domestic and international frequencies from Ayodhya, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kannur, Kolkata, Kochi, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, and Varanasi.

New lease on life

For an airline that was suffering from stunted growth not too long ago and was unable to expand its fleet beyond just a couple of dozen aircraft, Air India Express has come a long way. The Tata Group is finalizing the merger process of the budget carrier with former AirAsia Express, which means that Air India Express has inherited all the former’s Airbus narrowbodies as well as its domestic network.

Air India Express Boeing 737 MAX

Photo: Air India Express

Furthermore, the carrier is sitting on a massive 190 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft order, several of which have already arrived. This has allowed it to commence several new services and plan many more routes, which it couldn’t before due to a lack of proper direction as a state-run carrier.

It’s only been two years since Air India Express was privatized along with its full-service parent airline, Air India, and one can already see massive changes in its business strategy and network map.

Big plans

This is just the beginning, as Air India Express has massive plans for the future. As more 737 MAXs begin to arrive over the next few years, the carrier will position itself as one of the leading budget airlines within the country as well as for destinations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The plan is for it to also act as a feeder airline for Air India, transporting passengers from smaller towns and cities in the country to big metros, from where Air India operates flights globally.

Air India Express Boeing 737

Photo: WeChitra | Shutterstock

Air India Express is eyeing twice its current market share in the next five years and wants to double its daily departures by the end of the financial year 2025. And with the way things are shaping up, the target looks achievable. Here’s wishing the carrier all the luck.

What do you feel about Air India Express’ business expansion in recent times? Please leave a comment below.



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