Trip Report: Bengaluru to Chennai. Air India Express – AIX after merger of Air India Express and Air Asia India – has now taken the sky with a new livery and identity.
I was looking forward to flying with them to check out what has changed and what remains the same. I had a work trip to Chennai scheduled and I decided to take Air India Express (AIX).
Though this is a very short sector, it still gets more than 85% occupancy for every airline operating this sector.
Coming to timings, I had the option to fly with IndiGo, which departed at 07:00am IST in the morning, but which would mean me leaving home at 4:30am IST.
AIX had better timings, with their flight departing at 08:05am IST. Even for my return leg, I chose AIX just for the good timing, which would allow me to complete my work and do some shopping before flying back. So, sit back and enjoy the trip report.
Air India Express – Bengaluru to Chennai
- Flight Number – I5 763 (BLR-MAA)
- Departure Airport – Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru)
- Arrival Airport –Chennai International Airport
- Registration – VT-ATE, 3.3 Years old during the time of flight.
- Aircraft Type –Airbus A320neo
After the merger was completed, the company has revamped their website and application as well, which now sport a bright orange color with their new livery.
The application was quite straight forward and easy to use as well. I could do web check-in without any hassle.
Arrival at Bengaluru Airport
As usual I arrived at the airport using the local bus service and took shuttle service provided by airport to reach T2 from T1.
The new terminal T2 still doesn’t fail to amaze me, and probably one of the best interiors by far after Mumbai International Airport.
Check-in at Bengaluru Airport
I always love to collect a printed boarding card just as a memory of the flights I take, hence even though I did not have any luggage for check-in I headed towards the counter to collect my boarding pass.
Security Check at Bengaluru Airport
Security check was quick as well, with factors like it being a weekday contributing to less crowd, which is always a bliss.
The security check at Bengaluru Airport has always been well organized and with the help of DigiYatra the process was efficient, so in roughly about 5 minutes I had cleared security check and was headed towards the gate.
The flight started boarding on time – the aircraft belonged to AirAsia India, and after the merger the airline had just re-painted the aircraft red, removing the logo of AirAsia India.
As soon as I entered the aircraft, I was greeted with a smile by the cabin crew.
This aircraft comes in 3-3 standard configuration, and I was seated at seat 28F. Leg space was not the best, especially after having flown with Vistara and Air India it felt too cramped to me.
The airline had definitely worked on changing the interior which now sported their “X” logo on the head rest and even the safety card as well as their food menu had no signs of the former AirAsia India.
After nearly more than 15 flights with AirAsia India, first time I was greeted by a clean window without any stains on the window. So, kudos to the new change in the airline.
Air India Express has also introduced something called as “AirFlix” which is their wireless streaming app, which is supposed to have movies and options to shop for products.
This facility was available when the aircrafts were with Air Asia India as well but it never worked then and it did not work now.
As this was a very short sector (I suppose not more than 20 – 25 minutes in the air), there were no sales on-board, but passengers who had pre-booked their meals were served.
I must give appreciation to the cabin crew, as within short span of time they handed out all the pre-booked meals and also a bottle of water to all the passengers.
Arrival at Chennai
We arrived at Chennai Airport five minutes ahead of our scheduled time of arrival.
Air India Express has a lot of potential as an airline, given the slots which they hold in the key airports like Delhi and Mumbai.
Their sister company Air India already has a vast network of flights on international route and Air Asia Express already had a good presence in Tier 2 cities.
AIX is poised to act as a connectivity between tier 2 cities and the international network of Air India. Also, to mention some benefits the airline has over its competitors in the category like IndiGo; one is the presence of an oven on-board their aircraft.
For quite some time IndiGo has been criticized for its meal choices on-board and it clearly directs itself towards passengers who wouldn’t mind shelling out extra money on an international sector to get a decent meal option. Just how well AIX capitalizes on this opportunity is yet to be seen.
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