The budget carrier commenced the Goa-Dubai flight on March 27th.
India’s budget international airline Air India Express has started direct service between Goa in western India and Dubai. The airline has recently made some tweaks to its Dubai network from India, removing two cities, adding two more, and increasing frequencies from a few others.
Air India’s low-cost arm Air India Express commenced its latest flight between Goa (GOI) and Dubai International Airport (DXB) on March 27th. The flight was part of AI Express’ recent rejigging of its Dubai network, in which it decided to connect Goa directly with the popular Middle East destination.
The first flight, IX 840, took off a little after 01:00 on Monday, as per Flightradar24.com, with 148 passengers onboard, and landed in Dubai at 02:59 local time after flying for 3 hours and 25 minutes.
The service will operate four times a week on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the return flight will operate on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Aloke Singh, Managing Director, Air India Express and AirAsia India, commented,
“We are thrilled to start our maiden international services from Goa under the Air India Express banner, which is amongst India’s most popular tourist destinations. We take pride in being the only airline that offers direct connectivity to Dubai from Goa. AirAsia India, which is set to merge with Air India Express, already operates 13 daily direct flights to/from Goa, connecting five domestic cities. We hope to be a part of the tourism success story of the state and remain committed to offering the best of services to our customers.”
Delhi and Mumbai removed
Air India Express has made some tweaks to its overall Dubai network. The airline has removed Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM) from its Dubai schedule, but these two cities will continue to be served by the full-service Air India.
The carrier will also soon connect another Indian city with DXB. On March 30th, Air India Express will begin a weekly flight from Indore, within days of Air India ending the same service. Indore has only had non-stops from Dubai since 2019. Air India also served its last Goa-Dubai flight on March 25th.
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With Goa and Indore, Air India Express now connects 11 Indian cities with Dubai. From May 1st, it will also increase frequencies to DXB from some cities, including Kozhikode, Mangaluru, Kannur, Jaipur, and Trivandrum.
Air India Express’ network tweaks come as it prepares to merge operations with another one of Tata Group airlines – AirAsia India (now rebranded as AIX Connect). Both airlines have already started working on obtaining all the necessary approvals from authorities and are exploring having integrated systems to manage customer-related processes, such as having a common website, social media handles, and even call centers.
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Aloke Singh recently said that the merged entity will have “enormous growth opportunities” as the businesses of both airlines complement each other. If all goes according to plan, both airlines could formally join forces by the end of this year.
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