Friday, May 19, 2006

AI Express may drop domestic ambitions post merger

Mumbai: Air India is likely to drop domestic service ambitions for its low cost subsidiary Air India Express in the event of its ambitious merger with state run domestic carrier Indian.
Air India CMD, V Thulasidas, had informed Express TravelWorld of plans for domestic services for Air India Express in December last year which would follow its flights in the Far East. However, with the government approving merger plans in early April 2006, the national carrier may well leave the domestic low-cost aviation space to Alliance Air, a similar subsidiary of its potential partner.
Speaking to Express TravelWorld on the sidelines of a press meet to allay safety norm concerns, Thulasidas said that while Air India Express' progress had hitherto made domestic operations near imminent by 2007, the planned merger may result in the low-cost airline, with a current fleet size of four Boeing 737-800, retaining a decidedly international focus with an enhanced short- to medium-haul network in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region.
18/05/06 Bhisham Mansukhani/Express TravelWorld
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