Both airlines are expected to merge fully in a few months from now.

Air India Express Boeing 737
Photo: WeChitra | Shutterstock

The Air India Group has given an important update on the merger progress of two of its low-cost carriers – Air India Express and AirAsia India (recently rebranded at AIX Connect). While a complete merger is still months away, both airlines have now integrated their reservation systems along with other customer-facing processes.

Common website

As Air India Express and AirAsia India prepare for an official merger in the coming months, they have already completed a significant milestone in that journey. The Air India Group has announced that on March 27th, the two low-cost airlines moved to a single, unified reservation system.

AirAsia India A320neo

Photo: Airbus

Passengers can now make and manage bookings, and check-in to AirAsia India and Air India Express domestic and international flights, on an all-new integrated Air India Express website. Campbell Wilson, CEO & MD, Air India, commented,

“The integration of the core reservations and passenger-facing systems of Air India Express and AirAsia India marks a significant milestone in the Air India Group’s transformation journey This new Air India Express, operating both domestically and internationally using systems optimised for low-cost airlines, gives the Group a much stronger LCC platform.”

This migration largely involved Air India Express migrating to the systems used by AirAsia India, and the two airlines have also adopted common social media and customer support channels.

Air India Express Boeing 737

Photo: Jahidul-hasan | Shutterstock

Business integration

In November, after months of planning and discussions, the Tata Group got full ownership of AirAsia India, with Air India announcing that it had acquired 100% shareholding in AirAsia India to turn it into its subsidiary.

The plan received a significant boost in June when the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved its decision to buy the entire equity share capital of AirAsia India. This gave the Tatas a free hand to plan the merger of the airline.

Since then, AirAsia India changed its name to AIX Connect Pvt Ltd, and Aloke Singh, the CEO of Air India Express, also took charge of the airline. In January, he had updated that several colleagues from both organizations are already working together on dozens of essential workstreams for the eventual merger.

AirAsia India Airbus A320

Photo: PradeepGaurs | Shutterstock

Integrating Air India Express and Air India with other airlines in the Tata Group is expected to bring revenue, cost, and operational benefits through broader adoption of each airline’s best practices, systems, and routes, and confer greater economies of scale. The new Air India Express will focus on leisure-oriented and price-sensitive markets while improving connectivity between key domestic cities and Air India’s fast-expanding international network.

Until the eventual merger, however, both AirAsia India and Air India Express are going ahead with their separate network changes, with AirAsia India recently starting new flights, such as the one from Surat, and Air India Express making changes to its Dubai network.

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