Staff Reporter

NACIL’s no-frills airline completes three years of service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Air India Express (AIE), the wholly owned subsidiary of National Aviation Company of India (NACIL), will commence flights from Kerala, Mangalore and Ahmedabad to Kuwait and Dammam.

The no-frills airline of NACIL, which completed three years of service on Monday, has also plans to operate flights to Dubai from Goa, Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. The flight from Kolkota to Singapore and Bangkok will be operated via Dhaka.

The number of passengers carried by the airline in the financial year April 2005 to March 2006 was 0.5 million. The number of passengers carried by AIE has increased to 1.8 million in the last financial year April 2007 to March 2008.

Airline sources said the increase in the number of passengers carried by AIE is over 200 per cent. The current revenues generated by the no-frills airline are over Rs.1,200 crore per annum.

The inaugural flight of AIE took off from Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Abudhabi on April 29, 2005. From 26 weekly flights in April 2005, the AIE has now 153 weekly flights between 13 cities in the country and 12 international destinations. The AIE flights operate from Kozhikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Trichy, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Kolkata, Jaipur, Lucknow, Delhi and Amritsar. The international destinations that AIE operate flights are Dubai, Sharjah, Abudhabi, Muscat, Al Ain, Salalah, Bahrain, Doha, Colombo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

“The success of the airline can be measured from the demand for increased operations and connections to new stations. It has become one of the most preferred economy airlines in the country,” Manager, Air India, H. A. Munaff said.

The airline serves passengers snacks and a soft drink in pre-packed boxes. Tea, coffee and water too are served. It has Internet-based reservations system too.