The Indian conglomerate Tata Group is making significant changes to its airline business. The company consolidates its operations by merging Air India Express, the country’s first international low-cost airline, with AIX Connect, formerly known as AirAsia India. 50 new MAXs will join the fleet.
The merger will give rise to a new brand low-cost carrier, whose launch is scheduled for October 18 next. The integration plan includes a unified reservation system, harmonized service offerings and a website. The current fleet of 56 planes26 B737, 2 B737 MAX, 5 A320 neo and 23 A320, should expand by 50 aircraft B737 MAX additional during Next 15 months. This expansion aims to improve the network and increase flights on existing routes. Aloke Singh, CEO of AIX Connect, revealed that more than 800 crew members and other operational personnel are currently in training for this expansion. The entity operates around 2,700 weekly flights, with Air India Express operating around 700 across 44 global destinations.
The first two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were delivered in September and were transported by AIX Connect flight crew and engineering team from Boeing’s Seattle airfield to MROs in India for flight preparation commercial. Besides this development, the Tata Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate, is also merging Vistarain which it holds a majority stake of 51%, with Air India, which it bought in October 2021 for $2.4 billion. The changes come amid increasing air traffic in India’s rapidly growing aviation market.