Air India Express plans fleet expansion, eyes more overseas routes

PTI
Monday, July 17, 2017

Profit-making Air India Express is preparing a 10-year vision document as it looks at expanding its fleet and flying to more foreign destinations, a senior airline official said.

The plan is being prepared amid the government working on a road map for disinvestment in Air India, the debt laden parent of the low-cost carrier which remains bullish on growth prospects. While the national carrier has been in the red for long, AI Express remained in the black for second consecutive year, posting Rs 296.7 crore net profit in 2016-17.

"It is business as usual" and the the airline would keep growing, Air India Express CEO K Shyam Sundar said in response to queries on whether there are business uncertainties in the wake of Air India disinvestment decision.
On future plans, he said the carrier would expand its aircraft fleet and fly to more overseas destinations. "The airline is in the process of drawing up a long term plan that will focus on expanding the fleet as well as the overseas footprint. The airline is also looking to consolidate the existing operations," Sundar told PTI.

Air India Express has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, each having a seating capacity for 189 people. "A ten-year vision document for Air India Express is being prepared. Consulting firms KPMG and ICF have been tasked with the job," Sundar said.

The airline would also be firming up its fleet strategy based on short term and long term priorities. It flies to 15 international destinations including Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Muscat, Salalah, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Riyadh and Dhaka. On domestic routes, it has flights between Chennai- Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi- Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi-Kozhikode. AI Express has 545 weekly departures and it flew 3.4 million passengers in 2016-17.

Boosted by higher revenues and reduction in costs, the airline posted a net profit of Rs 296.7 crore in the last financial year even though it had declined from Rs 361.68 crore recorded in 2015-16 period. AI Express, which has been operationally profitable for the last four years, saw its revenue rise to Rs 3,335 crore in 2016-17.

"Prudent commercial and management interventions including better utilisation of its assets gave rise to reduction of about 5-7 per cent in unit costs contributing to the positive financial outcome (in 2016-17)," the airline had said while announcing the results last month. On June 28, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, gave its in-principle approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries.

Air India Express is one of the subsidiaries. A group of ministers, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, would be deciding on the final contours of the disinvestment process. Among other issues, the panel would be looking at the de-merger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries.


Express your comment on this article

 
At last I say "Yeh Mera India"
Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What a relief -- Joyful I say Air India "Yeh Mera India and I love My India" after 25 years day ahead I wait to fly back to My Bombay once again """" and return kuwait by Amche Air India" and be like a Maharaja ""
No more tears , no more ignorant uneducated politics" Our future generation children are automatically smart from day one'' All the corrupt old fashion ignorant , greed and making religion problem and this dirty politics mixing the above greed will be soon wiped out ''' I wait to see the future young honest Boy/girl to rule India and wipe out and abolish the 548 politican - where all tax payers are feeding simply these 548 donkeys . Surely this Young Boy/girl will come and make just 2 parties -The active to rule party and the other 1 opposition parts like many other countries.
"Maa tujehe Salaal " Vande Mantaram'''

tamilselvam
Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Air India Express please arrange new route kuwait to Trichy Airport ,it help of 8 district people, Srilankan airways one man show

MOHAMED ANWAR
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017

Please consider to start flights on Fridays and Saturdays from Calicut to Kuwait. This will be much welcomed by all class of passengers and convenient to utilize of their weekend as well

NASSER
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017

Is there any opportunity for operation between KWI-MAA (Kuwait - Chennai)?

Suresh
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017

Air India Express is established few years ago as a budget airways. But the service on board and outside still remaining as budget but ticket fare is such as first class. E.g. Kuwait – Calicut a return ticket fare as follows for the air India express and Oman air (Departure from Kuwait 28/08/2017 Return from Calicut 21/09/2017) Express 215KD and Oman 151KD. So we need to think about which is budget airline and what is the name meant?

D
Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2017

Start direct flight from Kuwait to Cochin and Trivandrum, not express.

Scorpio
Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2017

If they change their timings to evening, they can be considered as an option.

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