Air India Express

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Air India Express
Air India Express logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations 29 April 2005
Operating bases
Fleet size 23
Destinations 29
Company slogan "Simply PriceLess"
Parent company Air India Limited
Headquarters Kochi, Kerala, India
Key people Ashwani Lohani (Chairman)
K. Shyam Sundar (CEO)

Air India Express is an Indian low-cost carrier headquartered in Kochi. It is operated by Air India Charters Limited (AICL), a wholly owned subsidiary of flag carrier airline Air India.[1] It operates around 550 flights per week to 29 destinations including the Middle East and Southeast Asia.


Air India Express came to being on 29 April 2005, with the launch of three flights that took off simultaneously from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. The airline was launched as a low-cost carrier (LCC) with the objective of providing convenient connectivity, to short-haul international routes, in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for the Indian expatriate community. Air India Express was Air India’s response to the growing popularity of LCCs worldwide and in the region. Being an LCC, the airline operates point-to-point flights without any hub.[2]

In December 2012, Air India ratified the proposal to move the headquarters to Kochi in January 2013 and for establishing a new MRO base at Thiruvananthapuram.[3][4] Presently, the airline carries out 596 weekly departures, involving about 1400 flight hours at an average stage length of about 3.75 hours. In terms of capacity, the airline offers about 170 million ASKMs per week. Its distribution system is entirely web-based. The company also launched the Air India Express Mobile App for making and modifying bookings and other customer and in-flight services.[5]


On 3 September 2016 the company announced that it had earned a net profit for the first time since its inception. As per the accounts placed and approved by airline’s Board of Directors (on 31 August 2016), the airline made a net profit of Rs.361.68 Cr. in FY 2015-16 against the loss of Rs. 61 Cr. registered in FY 2014-15. In the FY 2015-16, the airline witnessed a passenger load factor of 82.3% against 81.4% in the previous year, while average daily aircraft utilization rose to 11.3 hours from 10.8 hours. The airline carried around 2.80 million passengers against 2.62 million carried in the previous year.[6] As per a press release dated 30 November 2016, the airline has earned net profit of Rs. 415 Crores, as per the unaudited half yearly accounts placed and approved by the airline’s Board of Directors (on 29 November 2016).The airline has achieved operating revenue of Rs. 1897 Crores against Rs. 1609 Crores, earned in first half of financial year 15- 16. The airline has carried 1.64 million passengers during the period.[7]


Air India Express focuses on providing international flights from Tier II cities in India, to the Gulf and South East Asia. It maintains aircraft bases at Dubai International Airport and at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.[8][9] As of November 2016, the airline flies to 14 international destinations from 15 Indian cities.[10] It expanded operations to Delhi beginning May 2016.[11]

On the domestic front, the airline operates around 200 flights per week, from the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The airline has increased its focus on the Kozhikode market, the largest revenue centre of the airline.[12]

On 15 September 2016, Air India Express became the first airline to connect Chandigarh directly to an international destination by the introduction of a new thrice-weekly service to Sharjah. Air India Express has also introduced daily direct flights to Sharjah from Tiruchirappalli and now operate daily flights from Varanasi to Sharjah.[13]

On 2 December 2016, Air India Express launched its first flight to Riyadh from Kozhikkode Karipur International Airport. Kozhikode-Riyadh is the longest service in Air India Express’ network.[14] Air India Express now operates 134 services per week between Kozhikode and the Middle East, making Kozhikode the single largest on-line destination for the Airline. The airline enhanced its frequency on this sector to five days a week, from Feb 18, 2017.

Codeshare agreements[edit]


An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 approaching Dubai International Airport in 2008

As of May 2017, Air India Express has the following aircraft[16]

Air India Express fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Boeing 737 800 23 186
Total 23

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 22 May 2010, Air India Express Flight 812, a Boeing 737-800 (registered VT-AXV) flying on the Dubai–Mangalore route, overshot runway 24 on landing at Mangalore Airport, killing 152 passengers and 6 crew members of the 166 people on board. The aircraft crashed into a wooded valley at the end of the runway and burst into flames. There were eight survivors.[17][18][19][20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Air India to achieve fiscal targets". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "India's common man flies". The Asia Times Online. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Ramavarman, T. (14 December 2012). "Shifting of Air India Express headquarters to Kochi gets nod". Times of India. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Air India Express route scheduling from city soon". The Hindu. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "The changing face of Air India Express". News Xpress. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Air India Express turns profitable for the first time". Economic Times. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Air India Express nets profit of Rs 415 crore". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Air India Express to shift base to Kerala". The Hindu. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  9. ^ John, Issac (27 April 2011). "Air India Express opens first Gulf base in Dubai". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "Low cost but high profit". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Air India Express to connect Delhi". Times of India. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "AirIndiaExpress announces summer schedules". Business Standard. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  13. ^ "Air India Express expands fleet, explores new routes". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  14. ^ "Air India Express starts Kozhikode-Riyadh service". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  15. ^ "Air India begins Air India Express codeshare partnership from Dec 2016". Airlineroute. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  16. ^ "Interior arrangement for Boeing 737-800 aircraft". Air India Express. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "Jet crash kills 158 in India; 8 survive". 23 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "Indian official: 158 dead in Air India plane crash in Mangalore". Wire Update/BNO News. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "Air India flight from Dubai crashes in India". MSNBC. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  20. ^ "Casualties feared in Air India crash". CNN. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "India plane crash in Mangalore leaves nearly 160 dead". BBC News. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Air India Express at Wikimedia Commons