Air India Express
|Commenced operations||29 April 2005|
|Hubs||Cochin International Airport|
|Company slogan||"Simply PriceLess"|
|Parent company||Air India|
|Headquarters||Kochi, Kerala, India|
Air India Express is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Kochi, Kerala. It is operated by Air India Express Limited (AIEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian flag carrier airline Air India. It operates around 550 flights per week to 30 destinations including the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The airline carries around 3.8 million passengers every year connecting 107 city pairs.
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 with multiple hubs all over India.
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. Presently, the airline carries out 596 weekly departures, involving about 1400 flight hours at an average stage length of about 3 hours and 45 minutes. 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.
The airline was also the first one to land a flight at Kannur International Airport, Kerala's fourth international airport, on Septmber 20th, 2018. The Boeing 737/800 aircraft successfully landed as part of the trial flight, paving the way for commercial operations to begin at the airport.
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 the airline’s Board of Directors, the airline made a net profit of Rs.361.68 Cr. in FY 2015-16 against a 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.
As per the accounts placed and approved by the airline’s Board of Directors, Air India Express made a net profit of Rs.296.7 Cr. in FY 2016-17. The revenues increased by 14% recording a total revenue of Rs. 3335 Cr. Average daily aircraft utilization rose to 12.2 hours from 11.3 hours. The capacity offered by the airline went up by 33%; the fleet size progressively increased from 17 to 23 aircraft; and the number of passengers carried increased by 22%, to 3.42 million from 2.8 million in 2015-16.
On 9 November 2018, the airline posted a net profit of Rs.262 Cr., the third consecutive year that it reported a profit. The airline has been registering an operating profit for the last five years, and earned a net profit for the first time in 2015-16.
Air India Express focuses on providing international flights from Tier II cities in India, to the Gulf and South East Asia. The airline flies to 30 destinations as of January 2018 with a primary hub located at Cochin International Airport in Kochi..
- Codeshare agreements
Accidents and incidents
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.
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Media related to Air India Express at Wikimedia Commons