Air India Express
Based in Mumbai, Air India Express is a wholly-owned low cost subsidiary of Air India. The carrier, which was established in 2004, operates a network that covers domestic destinations in India as well as international destinations in Asia and the Middle East.
Location of Air India Express main hub (Kozhikode Calicut Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Air India Express fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
301 total articles
Air India Express, Biman Bangladesh, Pakistan International Airlines to operate to new Hamad Airport
27 total articles
The Singapore-India market is poised for a modest increase in capacity, driven by further expansion from the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group made possible by the recent signing of an expanded bilateral between the two countries.
The updated air services agreement only increases the previous capacity allotment for Singapore-based carriers by 10%. But SIA will take whatever it can get as Singapore-India is an important and generally under-served market. Incremental increases are typical with the India-Singapore bilateral, which has been updated several times in recent years, although Singapore would prefer a much bigger and broader agreement.
SIA along with full-service subsidiary SilkAir and low-cost carrier affiliate Tiger Airways already account for over 70% of capacity between India and Singapore. Indian carriers do not require a revised bilateral as they were using less than 40% of the prior allotment. Indian carriers over the last year have seen their share of the market decrease and may see their share drop further by the end of 2013 as the SIA Group again boosts capacity to India.
In this second extract from the CAPA India Aviation Outlook 2013/14 we look at the growing challenges to flag carrier Air India’s business model.
A combination of stronger Indian competitors as a result of foreign airline investment, the growth of LCCs, the opening up of the international market in the form of bilateral liberalisation and the changing nature of global alliances, will impact each of the three key areas of Air India’s operations – long-haul international, regional international and domestic – each of which we will consider in turn below.
Fatigue risk management rules challenge LCC cost reductions as safety issues are constantly reviewed
Low-cost airlines have increasingly scheduled back-of-the-clock flights departing late at night or early in the morning, but regulators are now placing greater emphasis on new issues in pilot fatigue risk management. That in turn is seeing some airlines lose operational advantages and incur a higher cost base, even if arguably justified on safety grounds.
New regulations from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) are impacting Air India’s LCC subsidiary, Air India Express. Previously the DGCA’s duty limitations did not differentiate between when duty time was occurring, but now the country’s pilots will be limited to seven-hour duty times instead of nine hours if the duty is for back-of-the-clock flights (officially the window of circadian low, occurring between 02:00 and 06:00). The ruling is applicable for domestic and regional flights.
Nearly one-third of the 32 million international passengers travelling to/from India in 2009/10 travelled on international carriers, leveraging sixth freedom rights, with only a third of current weekly seats and ASKs deployed international from India being operated by Indian carriers. Carriers such as Emirates, Lufthansa, British Airways, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have successfully expanded in the Indian market, often at the expense of local carriers, and offering onward connections via their respective hubs to destinations in US and Europe, currently underserved by the local airlines.
In the Comptroller and Auditor General of India's (CAG) report on Air India released in Sep-2011, it was noted the percentage of sixth freedom carriage in 2009/10 of total passengers carried was as high as 59% for Emirates, 78% for Qatar Airlines, 87% for Lufthansa, 49% for Singapore Airlines and 61% for British Airways. These five carriers together hold a 23.4% capacity (ASKs) share of international services to/from India.
On the surface, India's aviation industry looks to be in rude health, but behind the strong headline traffic figures is growing financial pain. India's airlines reported continued strong domestic passenger growth of 22.3% in Jul-2011 following on from an 18% expansion in the first half of the year. India is now the ninth largest and fastest growing domestic market in the world. The Indian government anticipates that India would become one of the three largest markets in the world by 2020.
IndiGo commences its much-anticipated international air services today (01-Sep-2011) after completing the mandatory five years of wholly domestic operations. The LCC, the largest in the domestic Indian market, marks the start of its foray into international markets with direct service to Dubai, followed by Singapore and Bangkok in the first phase - all key global business hubs.