Air India Express plans expansion and merger synergies

01 Sep 2023

Air India Express, now part of the Tata Group and in the process of merging with AirAsia India, is set to introduce a new brand within the next few months. The airline has ambitious plans to expand its fleet and network, with the aim of establishing itself as the second-largest low-cost carrier in the competitive Indian domestic market.

Aloke Singh, CEO & MD of Air India Express and AIX Connect, shared the airline's vision during a town hall with employees. He emphasised the importance of creating meaningful connections, delivering unique experiences, and offering exceptional value to passengers.

As part of its expansion strategy, Air India Express is planning to deploy 50 Boeing 737 Max aircraft by the end of 2024. This aggressive move is aimed at securing a solid second position in the Indian domestic market, just behind the market leader, IndiGo.

Currently, Air India Express operates a fleet of 25 aircraft, while AirAsia India has 28 Airbus A320 Neo planes. With the addition of 50 more aircraft, the combined entity will become the second-largest low-cost airline in India.

The Tata Group is actively pursuing its vision of creating two distinct airlines through mergers: a low-cost carrier formed by merging AirAsia India and Air India Express, and a full-service carrier created by combining Air India and Vistara.

Internally, Air India Express and AirAsia India have already integrated various aspects of their operations, including a single CEO, a common reservations system, website, social media, and customer support channels. They have also received approval from aviation regulators to sell tickets under the common brand of Air India Express.

This strategic move aims to capitalise on the strengths of both airlines and enhance their competitiveness in the Indian aviation market.

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