Mumbai: After Kingfisher-Air Deccan and Jet Airways, India’s national carrier Air India now plans to start its own budget service domestically, post-its merger with Indian.
“We are already successfully running our budget service, Air India Express, internationally, and this Air India Express will now run a domestic service as well after Air India’s merger with Indian,” Air India’s Chairman, V Thulasidas, who will now be the Chairman of the merged entity, told PTI here in an interview.
Though budget airlines all over the world were not making profits, Air India Express has been running profitably with its fares on an average being 25% lower than normal ones, he said, adding the national carrier may even consider operating a long-distance international budget service if found viable.
Air India Express currently operates its budget service to the Middle-East and Far East with Dubai being the only destination where both normal and budget services are operated by the flag-carrier.
Giving details, Thulasidas said that Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Indian, would be merged with Air India Express for this budget service but the six-seven Boeing 737-200s that Alliance Air has, would be taken off from passenger service and would be converted for the national carrier’s cargo service to be launched this month-end.
Presently, both Indian Airlines and Alliance do not run budget services.