Air India Express

Air India Express is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Kochi, Kerala. It is operated by Air India Express Limited (AIEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian flag carrier airline Air India.[4] It operates around 649 flights per week to 33 destinations including the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The airline carries around 4.3 million passengers every year connecting 140 city pairs.[5] It has secondary hubs in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Mangaluru and Kannur.

Air India Express
Air India Express Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations29 April 2005; 17 years ago (2005-04-29)
HubsCochin International Airport
Secondary hubs [1]
Fleet size24
Parent companyAir India Limited
HeadquartersAir India Express Building, Kochi, Kerala[2]
RevenueIncrease 36.2 billion (US$480 million) (FY 2017–18)[3]
Operating income4.73 billion (US$62 million) (FY 2017–18)[3]
Net income2.62 billion (US$34 million) (FY 2017–18)[3]
Profit5.05 billion (US$66 million) (FY 2017–18)[3]
Employees1,276 (as of 31 March 2018)[3]


Air India Express came into existence on 29 April 2005, with the launch of three flights that took off simultaneously from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. The airline was launched as a low-cost carrier (LCC) with the objective of providing convenient connectivity, to short-haul international routes, in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for the Indian expatriate community. Air India Express was Air India's response to the growing popularity of LCCs worldwide and within the region. Being an LCC, the airline operates point-to-point flights with multiple hubs all over India.[6]

In December 2012, Air India ratified the proposal to move the headquarters to Kochi in January 2013 and to establish a new MRO base at Thiruvananthapuram.[7][8]


As per the audited accounts approved by the Airline’s Board of Directors on 27 October 2020, the Airline’s operating revenues grew by over 25% from 4,172 crore (US$550 million) in FY 2018–19 to 5,219 crore (US$680 million) in FY 2019–20. It is worth noting that the revenue growth was achieved despite the adverse market conditions due to the onset of COVID-19 during the last quarter of the fiscal.[9]

On 9 November 2018, the airline posted a net profit of 262 crore (US$34 million), the third consecutive year that it reported a profit, and registering an operating profit for the previous five years.

As per the accounts placed and approved by the airline's board of directors, Air India Express made a net profit of 296.7 crore (US$39 million) in FY 2016–17.[10] The revenues increased by 14% recording a total revenue of 3,335 crore (US$440 million) Average daily aircraft utilization rose to 12.2 hours from 11.3 hours. The capacity offered by the airline went up by 33%; the fleet size progressively increased from 17 to 23 aircraft; and the number of passengers carried increased by 22%, to 3.42 million from 2.8 million in 2015–16.[11]

On 3 September 2016 the company announced that it had earned a net profit for the first time since its inception.[12] As per accounts placed and approved by the airline's board of directors, the airline made a net profit of 3,616,800,000 ₹ or 361.68 crore (US$47 million) in FY 2015–16 against a loss of 61 crores (or 61,000,000) registered in FY 2014–15. In the FY 2015–16, the airline witnessed a passenger load factor of 82.3% against 81.4% in the previous year, while average daily aircraft utilization rose to 11.3 hours from 10.8 hours. The airline carried around 2.80 million passengers against 2.62 million carried in the previous year.[13]


On 8 October 2021, Air India, along with its low cost carrier Air India Express and fifty percent of AISATS, a ground handling company, were sold for ₹18,000 crore (US$2.5 billion) to Talace Private Limited, a Tata Sons' SPV.

Awards and RecognitionEdit

Air India Express has been named the ‘Iconic Brand of India -2021’ by The Economic Times. The award was in recognition of its overall performance and efforts to ensure business continuity.

In 2021, Air India Express was adjudged as the 'Best Workplace for Women' by The Economic Times.


Air India Express focuses on providing international flights from Tier II cities in India, to the Gulf and South East Asia. The airline flies to 33 destinations as of May 2019 with a primary hub located at Cochin International Airport in Kochi .[14][15][16]

On the domestic front, the airline operates from the states of Kerala, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In its international arena, the airline mainly connects Indian cities with Gulf countries and Singapore in the east.

Codeshare agreements


Air India Express Boeing 737-800

As of 1 January 2022, the Air India Express fleet consists of the following aircraft:[18][19]

Air India Express fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Boeing 737-800 24 186
Total 24

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 22 May 2010, Air India Express Flight 812, a Boeing 737–800 (registered VT-AXV) flying on the Dubai–Mangalore route, overshot runway 24 on landing at Mangalore Airport, killing 152 passengers and six crew members of the 166 people on board. The aircraft crashed into a wooded valley at the end of the runway and burst into flames. There were only eight survivors.[20][21][22][23][24]
  • On 9 July 2012, an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 skidded on landing, during heavy rain at Calicut International Airport . Aircraft's landing gear impacted with runway beacons, breaking them. There were no casualties on board.
  • On 12 October 2018, Air India Express Flight 611 was a Boeing 737-800 (registered VT-AYD) that suffered a tail strike on take off, before colliding with the localizer antenna and boundary wall of Tiruchirappalli International Airport. This resulted in severe structural damage to the undercarriage, landing gear, flight control surfaces and engine cowling. The crew continued to fly towards their destination in Dubai contrary to Boeing's tail strike checklist, reassured by normal instrumentation. The company operations team requested the plane return to Mumbai whilst the plane was over the Arabian Sea. It landed uneventfully and was repaired at a substantial cost.[25]
  • On 7 August 2020, Air India Express Flight 1344, a Boeing 737–800 (registered VT-AXH), went into an uncontrolled skid on the runway due to heavy rain,[26] fell into a valley and broke into three pieces after overrunning the table-top runway at Calicut International Airport. 20 people on board were killed, including both pilots, and at least 112 were injured.[27][28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Trichy AIX Base Station". Twitter. 26 October 2021. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Our Offices". Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report of Air India Express Limited" (PDF). Air India. 19 October 2019. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Air India to achieve fiscal targets". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  5. ^ "About Air India Express". Air India Express. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  6. ^ "India's common man flies". The Asia Times Online. Archived from the original on 24 May 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ Ramavarman, T. (14 December 2012). "Shifting of Air India Express headquarters to Kochi gets nod". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Air India Express route scheduling from city soon". The Hindu. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Air India Express reports highest-ever net profit at Rs 412.77 crore". Business Standard. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Air India Express clocks ₹297-cr profit in FY-17". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Air India Express clocks net profit for second year". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  12. ^ "AI Express reports Rs 262 crore profit for FY18". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Air India Express turns profitable for the first time". Economic Times. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Summer timetable 2017: 26th March 2017 to 28th October 2017" (PDF). Air India Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Madurai-Singapore flight service to start from September 15". Times of India. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Air India Express airline profile". CAPA Centre for Aviation. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Air India begins Air India Express codeshare partnership from Dec 2016". Airlineroute. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Air India Express Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Fleet Details". Air India. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Jet crash kills 158 in India; 8 survive". 23 May 2010. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  21. ^ "Indian official: 158 dead in Air India plane crash in Mangalore". BNO News. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Air India flight from Dubai crashes in India". NBC News. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Casualties feared in Air India crash". CNN. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  24. ^ "India plane crash in Mangalore leaves nearly 160 dead". BBC News. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  25. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-8HG (WL) VT-AYD Tiruchirappalli-Civil Airport (TRZ)". Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  26. ^ "Express Flight Crash LIVE Updates: 15 Including Pilot Dead, 123 Injured". OdishaTV. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Live News: Air India Express flight from Dubai over shoots table top runway". The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Both Pilots Among 18 Killed In Air India Express Plane Crash In Kerala: Updates". Retrieved 10 August 2020.

External linksEdit