Air India Chairman and Managing Director Aravind Jadhav stated Dubai would now serve as a hub for Air India Express (AIE), a subsidiary of Air India (Emirates 24/7/Gulf News/PTI, 25-Apr-2011). The decision was taken because “there is a lot of demand for traffic from the Gulf to various points in India”, Mr Jadhav stated, and the maximum number of flights operated there. The base will be operational within a month. Air India Express has been plagued by frequent flight delays and service disruptions. The new hub would give flexibility and options as more pilots, cabin crew, maintenance staff would be positioned in Dubai, adding that most of the operations - such as maintenance, catering and ground handling capacities - in Dubai would be outsourced as part of long-term plan. Mr Ravi said the two aircraft positioned in Dubai have helped reduce the number of flight cancellations and delays. For the forthcoming winter schedule, two more aircraft will be leased this year, while two more are expected to join the fleet in 2012.
Indian Government: "Setting up of a base in Dubai will result in the significant betterment in customer services for the Gulf sector. It will strengthen the operation of all Air India flights in and out of Dubai," Vayalar Ravi, Indian Minister for Overseas Affairs and Civil Aviation. Source: Gulf News, 25-Apr-2011.
Air India: “Dubai would also become a base for stationing pilots, cabin crew and other personnel needed for stepping up flight operations. More flights from Dubai would be planned with the objective of providing connecting flights from India to the Gulf and Europe,” Aravind Jadhav, Chairman and Managing Director. Source: Emirates 24/7, 25-Apr-2011.