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Air India on Thursday said it will operate 24 additional domestic flights from August 20 onwards. According to the airline, the new flights include two from Delhi to Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad, and from Mumbai to Chennai and Hyderabad, and one new frequency on the Mumbai-Bengaluru route and Ahmedabad-Pune route.

Air India's narrowbody aircraft fleet stands at 70, of which 54 are currently serviceable. The remaining 16 aircraft will progressively return to service by early 2023.

"The additional 24 flights include two new frequencies from Delhi to Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad, and from Mumbai to Chennai and Hyderabad, as well as one new frequency on the Mumbai-Bengaluru route and Ahmedabad-Pune route," the airline said in a statement.

Air India MD and CEO Campbell Wilson said, "Over the past six months, Air India has been working closely with our partners to return aircraft to service, and we are delighted that this effort is now bearing fruit."

Air India's move has come a day after the civil aviation ministry said it will remove restrictions on ticket prices it had imposed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With this announcement, Indian airlines--Air India, Vistara, SpiceJet, IndiGo, and GoFirst will be able to price tickets freely.

The government had imposed a minimum and maximum band based on the flight's duration to prevent ticket prices from spiking once restrictions on air travel eased.

Competition in the Indian aviation space is expected to heat up with the launch of Akasa Air and the revival of Jet Airways.

Air India, which was a government-owned airline early this year, has now become a private entity. After 69 years of being run as a government entity, the airline went back to Tata Group on January 27.

Talace Pvt. Ltd, a unit of Tata Sons submitted the winning bid of 18,000 crore as the enterprise value of Air India against a reserve price of 12,906 crore. Air India was founded by industrialist and aviator J.R.D. Tata in 1932 as Tata Airlines.

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