AI to launch domestic budget carrier

Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav said: “By taking the number of flights to 75 during the winter schedule, the company hopes to benefit Rs 180-200 crore”.

Jadhav said during route rationalisation exercise, we looked at 100 routes which were not doing well. “We found 27 routes which were least profitable. We will fix fares in such a way that it will be a tough call for our competitors,” he said.

AI will convert its older aircraft and retrofit them to accommodate about 148 seats, all economy.

He said the new low cost airline will be run on the model of Air India Express, the international budget carrier of AI. Claiming that AIE was a success, he said this company would run the domestic arm too and added that the budget carrier would not depend on AI. At present, AI is the only major airline which does not have a budget airline. Its two legacy airline competitors – Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines – have low cost carrier arm.
The state-run carrier flies 57 of its 147 aircraft on domestic routes and has seen its passenger market share scroll down to 17 per cent now from 20 per cent in 2006-07.

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