A change in the timing of its daily flights to Dubai and Sharjah and maintaining the frequency of its international operations are the highlights of the new summer schedule for Air India Express (AIE) from the Cochin International Airport.

The six-month schedule, which came into effect from Sunday, stipulates 35 international departures for the carrier on a weekly basis. As per the schedule, the no-frills carrier will have direct services to Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi on a daily basis, besides the flight connecting Doha and Bahrain via Kozhikode and three services to Muscat.

 As per the new schedule, IX 435 Kochi-Dubai will depart from here at 12.50 p.m. instead of 7.15 a.m., while IX 411 to Sharjah will leave Kochi at 10.45 p.m. as against the earlier timing of 8.15 a.m.

 In the domestic sector, the AIE provides connectivity to the State’s capital city every Thursday and operates daily to Kozhikode and twice to Mumbai (Thursday and Friday).

 During the last winter schedule, the airline could maintain an average seat occupancy level of 80 per cent with an on-time performance rate of 92 per cent. The airline aspires to take this to around 90 per cent under the new schedule.

“The objective is to narrow down the gap between peak-season and non-peak time traffic and record an overall occupancy ratio of 80 per cent for the entire schedule,” said the airline spokesperson.

 According to AIE, the carrier has been in the process of redistributing its international operations across the stations of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and Mangalore, with Kozhikode leading the tally with 54 services a week.

“This is being done on the basis of an in-depth analysis of the regional market which pointed to a consolidation of passengers towards the North,” the official said.

Peak season

 Under the new schedule, the carrier expects a super-peak period during August and September when the NRK families start returning with the opening of schools in the Middle East. Under the schedule, Air India will be operating full services to the destinations including Jeddah and Sharjah.

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