Air India Express
|Commenced operations||29 April 2005|
|Hubs||Calicut International Airport|
|Fleet size||23 (July 2017)|
|Destinations||30 (December 2017)|
|Company slogan||"Simply PriceLess"|
|Parent company||Air India Limited|
|Headquarters||Kochi, Kerala, India|
|Key people||Pradeep Singh Kharola IAS (Chairman) |
Air India Express is an Indian low-cost carrier headquartered in Kochi. It is operated by Air India Express Limited (AIEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of flag carrier airline Air India. 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 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 3.75 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.
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. 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.
As per the accounts placed and approved by Airline’s Board of Directors (on 28th June, 2017), Air India Express has made net profit of Rs.296.7 Cr. in FY 2016-17. The revenues increased by 14% recording 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 reach the level of 3.42 million from 2.8 million 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 December 2017 with a primary hub located at Calicut International Airport in Kozhikode. It expanded operations to Delhi beginning May 2016.
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