Air India Express is set to expand international operations to Southeast Asia and other regional destinations, including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nepal. The airline has started receiving new aircraft that have the range and endurance to reach these destinations.
The airline has inducted four Boing 737-8 Max aircraft, taking the total fleet size to 57.
The carrier will be inducting 50 new aircraft over the next 15 months. It aims to grow its fleet to about 170 narrow-body aircraft in the next 5 years. The carrier also plans to have a network spanning both domestic and international routes.
The airline is in the final stages of a merger with AiX Connect (formerly known as AirAsia India), making it a mega-low-cost carrier.
“We are evaluating to commence new flight operations in south and southeast Asia. New flight services to destinations in Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries in this region might be started soon,” sources told FE.
Apart from 13 destinations in West Asia, the airline presently operates flights between destinations in India and Singapore. “We may also explore possibilities for destinations like Sri Lanka.”
Besides, the airline plans to further develop its regional hubs to have a synergy between its international and domestic networks. “We have witnessed a one-stop itinerary travel in India, whereby a passenger takes a short-haul domestic flight to a regional hub to catch an international flight for an overall cheaper fare in comparison to taking a direct flight.”