It is end of road for AirAsia India. From Thursday, all its domestic flights will be operated under the Air India Express brand as a part of integration of the two airlines.
Air India Express unveiled the unified brand identity and a new aircraft livery inspired by arts and crafts heritage on its new Boeing 737 Max aircraft on Wednesday.
“The integrated Air India Express-AirAsia India entity will operate as Air India Express, with a modern, refreshed branding positioned as new India’s smart connector,” said Aloke Singh, Managing Director of Air India Express.
For the time being, the airline will retain the two designator codes (IX and I5) that are used for flight numbering. However the services, sales and distribution will be done under the Air India Express branding.
Air India Express began as a low cost arm of Air India in 2005 focusing largely on routes between South India and West Asia. At present, it has a fleet of 28 Boeing 737 planes which include two new Boeing 737 Max planes. Air Asia India which is being merged with Air India Express has 26 Airbus A320 aircraft.
“With 50 aircraft set to be inducted into the fleet over the next 15 months, we double in size in a short span of time. Over the course of the next 5 years, we aim to grow to a fleet of about 170 narrow-body aircraft, with a network spanning domestic India and short-haul international markets,” Singh said.
Air India’s Managing Director and CEO, Campbell Wilson, said the Air India group will be inducting one aircraft every six days from now till the end of 2024.
“Continuing with our unique tradition, the aircraft livery will feature a variable tailfin design inspired by the rich art and crafts heritage of the country, themed as ‘The patterns of India,” Singh added.
The airline’s new visual identity features an energetic and premium colour palette of orange and turquoise. The livery of the first new Boeing 737-8 aircraft showcased at the launch is inspired by the Bandhani textile design. The upcoming aircraft being inducted will feature designs inspired by other traditional patterns including Ajrakh, Patola, Kanjeevaram, Kalamkari, etc, showcasing India’s artistic diversity.