BY A CORRESPONDENT
March 19, 2005 : March 19, 2005: Air
India Express, the low-budget airline set up by
India's national carrier Air India, is ready to
take wings. Air India Express takes to skies on
April 29 and the first flight will be from
Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala to Abu Dhabi. Kerala
is home to a large population of Non-resident
Indians in the Gulf. The idea is to tap this route
which is currently serviced by Air India and some
foreign carriers. The tiny state of Kerala already
has three international airports, and one more is
A Delhi-Abu Dhabi ticket on Air India Express
costs Rs 6632, which is about 25 to 30% cheaper
than the fares offered by conventional carriers.
Barely a week after the Air India Express
announcement, Air Arabia too got into the fare
war, announcing a rock-bottom Rs 2999 for its
Sharjah-Mumbai flight. CLICK
HERE FOR DETAILED REPORT. The Air Arabia Mumbai flights start
from Saturday, March 26, 2005.
Online tickets sales for Air India Express
Thiruvanathapuram-Abu Dhabi sector was launched on
Friday by civil aviation secretary Ajay Prasad in
New Delhi. To book online, go to
www.airindiaexpress.in. Tickets can also be
bought from travel agents or from Air India
Express offices. Each flight will have 181 seats.
Air India Express plans to add flights to Bahrain,
, Doha, Kuwait, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala
Lumpur from next year.
Air India Express starts off with three Boeing
737-800s, which will operate 35 flights per week.
The flights will be to Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Dubai
and Salalah, from Kochi, Thiruvanathapuram,
Kozhikode, Mumbai and Delhi.
Air India Express becomes the first Indian
low-budget airline to fly out of the country.
Currently, Indian airlines which are allowed to
fly abroad from India are Jet and Air Sahara,
which do not fall in the no-frills airlines
The budget airline concept in India was kicked off
by Air Deccan. The success of Air Deccan was
noticed among several corporates and now,
Kingfisher Airlines, Magic Air, Go Air and Royal
Airways are waiting for takeoff.
BY A CORRESPONDENT