AI Express to increase number of flights in summer schedule

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015,21:39 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Air India Express, the international budget arm of the national carrier, will add eight more flights in its network in the upcoming summer schedule and would operate 173 flights per week during the period. In the summer 2015 schedule, Air India Express will operate 173 flights per week as compared to current operation of 165 flights/week.
The aircraft utilisation will be 11.3 hours per day, the airline said in a statement. Summer schedule of the airlines in the country commences from late March and lasts up to October-end every year. There would be an average of 55 departures per day. According to the statement, the number of flights on Kochi-Muscat-Kochi, Kozhikode-Salalah-Kozhikode, Kozhikode- Dammam-Kozhikode and Mangalore-Dammam-Mangalore routes would be increased.
Thrice-weekly round-robin flights on Mangalore-Abu Dhabi- Muscat-Mangalore route (would be) restructured as Mangalore- Abu Dhabi-Mangalore four flights per week and Mangalore-Muscat -Mangalore three flights per week, it said. AIE, at present, operates to 13 international destinations from 12 Indian cities with a fleet of 17 Boeing 737-800 aircraft (all owned). Kochi-headquartered airline now plans to increase its fleet size to 25 planes.
AIE has recently signed an agreement with the global aircraft lessors GECAS of Singapore for acquiring three new Boeing 737-800 planes, which are expected to be delivered to it next year. The airline had earlier a fleet of 25 Boeing 737-800 planes with 18 owned and seven leased ones.
While it returned all the leased planes to the lessors on completion of the lease period over a period of time, AIE lost one plane during the Mangalore crash in 2010, reducing the number of aircraft in the fleet to 17.