The Air India Group this week completed a significant milestone in the integration of its two low-cost subsidiary airlines, Air India Express and AirAsia India.
On March 27, the two budget carrier subsidiaries moved to a single, unified reservations system and website, and adopted common social media and customer support channels.
This migration, which largely involved Air India Express migrating to the systems used by AirAsia India, confers significant capability and efficiency benefits for the airline and its passengers.
More specifically, passengers are now able to make and manage bookings, and check-in to AirAsia India and Air India Express domestic and international flights, on an all-new integrated website.
This system merger comes five months after AirAsia India was fully acquired and subsidiarised under Air India, and three months after both AirAsia India and Air India Express were placed under a single CEO.
In the coming months, the airlines will continue integrating other internal systems and, eventually, their air operating permits and regulatory posts.
Commenting on the development, Campbell Wilson, chief executive and managing director of Air India said:
“The integration of the core reservations and passenger-facing systems of Air India Express and AirAsia India marks a significant milestone in the Air India Group’s transformation journey.
This new Air India Express, operating both domestically and internationally using systems optimised for low-cost airlines, gives the Group a much stronger LCC platform.
Together with the Group’s recent, benchmark-setting aircraft order, this sets the scene for us to realise many new opportunities for customers, employees and Indian aviation.”
The integration of Air India Express and Air India will bring revenue, cost, and operational benefits through broader adoption of each airlines’ best practices, systems, and routes, and confer greater economies of scale.
The new Air India Express will focus on leisure-oriented and price sensitive markets while improving connectivity between key domestic cities and Air India’s fast expanding international network.
The integrated carrier will serve domestic destinations across India and currently 14 international destinations from 19 Indian cities.
Air India Express, launched in 2005, was India’s first international budget carrier and always remained a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India.
Its bread and butter business is connecting smaller Indian cities directly with the Middle East and South East Asia with 26 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
AirAsia India was fully acquired by Tata and Air India in December 2022 and rebranded as AIX Connect. It operates 28 Airbus A320s.