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Air India Express to launch domestic flights, enhance Kerala-Oman flight options

Air India Express, the low cost wing of India’s national airline Air India, has announced an expansion of its domestic network with two new routes, as well as expanded service from Kerala to Oman. The exact details of the changes and new flights are given below.

Delhi-Kochi

IX411- DEL: 0600 ~ COK: 0915 Daily
IX412- COK: 2005 ~ DEL: 2320 Daily

Delhi-Mumbai

IX102- DEL: 0850 ~ BOM: 1100 Days: 15
IX201- BOM: 0720 ~ DEL: 0935 Days: 26

On international sectors, new non stops will be implemented between Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvanantapuram and Muscat and Salalah. Domestic tag-on sectors will be eliminated.

Kochi – Muscat up gauge to 4 weekly service

IX443- COK: 0835 ~ MCT: 1050 Days: 1456
IX442- MCT: 1150 ~ COK: 1655 Days: 1456

Kochi – Salalah NEW 1 weekly nonstop service is replacing existing 1 weekly 1-stop via Thiruvananthapuram and 2 weekly 1-stop via Kozhikode

IX441- COK: 1045 ~ SLL: 1340 Days: 4
IX446 SLL: 1440 ~ COK: 2000 Days: 4

Kozhikode – Muscat up-gauge to daily service

IX337- CCJ: 1100 ~ MCT: 1255 Daily
IX350- MCT: 1355 ~ CCJ:1855 Daily

Kozhikode – Salalah 2 weekly nonstop service

IX341- CCJ: 0915 ~ SLL:1155 Days: 35
IX342- SLL: 1255 ~ CCJ: 1800 Days: 35

Thiruvananthapuram – Muscat Nonstop service up-gauge from 3 to 4 weekly. Existing 4 weekly service via Kozhikode will be eliminated

IX549- TRV: 0915 ~ MCT:1145 Days: 1346
IX554- MCT: 1230 ~ TRV: 1745 Days: 1346

Thiruvananthapuram – Salalah 1 weekly nonstop service

IX545- TRV: 0930 ~ SLL: 1145 Days: 7
IX546- SLL: 1245 ~ TRV: 1820 Days: 7

*All flights operated by Boeing 737-800

**Credit to airlineroute.net for the info

In Bangalore Aviation’s opinion, this is a good move by Air India Express. Nonstop international flights tend to drive increased revenues and improve passenger experiences. With the rising price of fuel, such revenue offsets will become key to future international growth. Furthermore, Air India Express can improve its aircraft utilization. The newly scheduled flights involve turnaround times of around one hour, allowing Air India Express to schedule more flights. Finally, with the continued growth of traffic to and from the Gulf region, the more convenient service allows NACIL to maintain its large share of migrant worker traffic; especially as the low cost carriers in the Gulf continue to expand to India.

From a domestic perspective, expanding makes a lot of sense. Kochi and Delhi are two important bases for Air India Express international flights, and operating the domestic flight allows aircraft to be rotated more effectively throughout the airline’s system. Air India Express consistently has the best financial results of any of NACIL’s components, and it’s low costs and efficient structure mean that it is a more nimble competitor to IndiGo, SpiceJet, and the other LCCs in India. Look for NACIL to potentially shift more domestic capacity to Air India Express in the coming months, as its lean structure and younger fleet are better positioned than the Alliance Air LCC venture to take advantage of demand growth within India, where the competitive axis has shifted to low-cost travel.

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