Thursday, March 02, 2017

Spreading wings: Alliance Air plans to link Colombo, South India

New Delhi: Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India, plans to connect cities in South India with Colombo.

Confirming the development, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, told BusinessLine that Alliance Air which till now has been focussing on domestic flights is also looking to spread its wings abroad.

Plans areafoot to connect Dhaka, Kathmandu and Male from various Indian cities, officials indicated.

Alliance has already applied to the authorities for permission to start international operations and is working on plans to enhance its fleet strength to get to 20 aircraft, the minimum number required to begin international operations as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The fleet of Alliance Air largely consists of turbo-propelled ATR aircraft.

A senior airline official indicated that Alliance Air will scale up to 20 aircraft within the next “six to nine months”.

The start of flights by Alliance Air will not see the withdrawal of flights that Air India is operating to either Kathmandu, Male or Dhaka, officials said. Air India Express, the low-cost arm of Air India, recently launched a non-stop flight from Delhi to Dhaka.
01/03/17 Ashwini Phadnis/Business Line