Air India’s low-cost subsidiary Air India Express has said that it will focus on routes popular with price-sensitive customers and leisure travellers as it relaunches its brand amid a merger with AIX Connect.
The airline, which will become the sole budget airline offering of the Tata Group following the merger with the previously named AirAsia India, will also focus on destinations in India that are not currently serviced by parent company Air India, according to managing director Aloke Singh.
Speaking to the Press Trust of India, Singh said: “The focus of Air India Express will be on routes which have a higher component of leisure travellers, a higher component of price-sensitive customers.
“In fact, more of non-business while Air India will focus primarily on routes which are higher yielding, which requires business class and a higher level of in-flight services.”
Singh also emphasised that the initial focus of the airline will be on strengthening existing routes and getting a “meaningful scale” on those services before moving to expand to new destinations.
“We are not looking at spreading our capacity all over the country right off the back. We will first consolidate our presence on the routes where we are already operating, get to a meaningful scale there and then start looking at other markets”, added Singh.
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The merger of the two airlines is also designed to make it easier for collaboration between Air India’s brands, with the carriers also set to offer common boarding cards, shared websites and codesharing options.
The refocus is part of a larger renewal programme of the Tata Group’s airlines, which saw Air India order 290 aircraft from Boeing earlier this year at the Paris Air Show as it seeks to continue competing with the growth of competitors like Indigo.