Air India Express and AirAsia India merger moves ahead

An AirAsia India A320neo passes overhead.
Venkat Mangudi, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The merger of AirAsia India and Air India Express has been moving ahead as planned. Recently the low-cost airline AirAsia India which operates an all-Airbus 320 fleet started repainting their aircraft.

Now the first Airbus A320 from the AirAsia India fleet has officially joined Air India Express.

Soon, after the purchase of Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express the Tata Group made the decision to merge both the full-service carriers and the low-cost airlines as well.

This would then result in one premium airline and one budget carrier. The Tata’s initially bought out the original AirAsia owners.


Merger as AIX

The two low-cost airlines had recently merged their mobile application and their website into one, under the brand name AIX.

The aircraft which was transferred to Air India Express is registered as VT-ATJ which is currently 2.3 years old at the time of writing.

This A320neo was initially delivered to Air India Express on July, 2021 and then later in December 2022 the aircraft was registered under the brand name “AIX Connect”. Finally, in October 2023 the aircraft was registered with Air India Express.

This aircraft is having its first flight scheduled (with Air India Express registration of IX) with the no. IX 1613 which will depart from Jaipur airport at 11:10am IST on 10th October,2023 and will arrive at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International airport at 13:05pm IST.

This marks the beginning of addition of aircraft other than Boeing in the fleet of Air Asia India,

CEO Comments

“VT-ATJ, at A320 originally from Air Asia India, became the first to transfer into the Air India Express fleet after completing DGCA’s detailed five-phase CAP3100 process,” said Air India CEO Mr. Campbell Wilson.

“This transfer will be progressively followed by all other aircraft so that, eventually, our two LCCs (low-cost carriers) become one and we have full flexibility to deploy aircraft in the most optimal and efficient manner across or low-cost network.”

He further added “VT-ATJ has now been operating domestically for a few days and will commence international service tomorrow, October 7. Well done to the IX/I5 teams for the regulatory and preparatory work involved.”

Currently AirAsia India has 28 aircraft in its fleet out of which most of them are expected to join the Air India express fleet. As part of its rapid expansion Air India express is expected to deploy nearly 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by end of 2024.

In recent news last week Air India entered into codeshare agreement with Air India express enabling seamless connectivity across the country, this agreement will be help domestic passengers flying with AIX connect seamlessly with the domestic and international destinations operated by Air India and vice-versa.

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