Air India Express and AirAsia India have commenced interline bookings, as part of an agreement between the two Tata Group airlines, to enable customers a seamless travel on their entire domestic and international network amid the ongoing merger process.
Under the arrangement, customers can book a single itinerary for both airlines, including a single PNR (Passenger Name Record) on the common website and other OTAs (Online Travel Agents) and travel partners, a joint statement by the two airlines said on Monday.
Budget carrier AirAsia India — which has been rechristened as AIX Connect — flies on domestic routes, while Air India Express operates on overseas routes.
AIX Connect is in the process of integrating and merging with Air India Express.
Along with a single PNR facility, the passenger will also receive a single boarding pass at the departing airport when undertaking a domestic journey on AirAsia India flight and a connecting international flight with Air India Express, as per the statement.
“However, customs and immigration formalities will need to be done at the airport from where the connecting flight is being undertaken, while baggage can be labelled to the final destination,” it said.
"Our ongoing efforts towards integrating Air India Express and AirAsia India, even as we proceed with the full merger, is now bearing fruit with a strong, integrated network emerging.
"The network footprint stretches across India, Gulf and the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, which will be further strengthened with our forthcoming fleet expansion," said Aloke Singh, Managing Director, Air India Express and AirAsia India.
“With a combined fleet of 54 aircraft, the two airlines together connect 44 destinations, operating over 250 routes across India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia,” as per the statement, adding that the two airlines have already harmonised a range of ancillary add-on services and sub-brands.
The interline arrangement enables passengers to seamlessly book and connect across sectors operated by the two airlines, as if it was done on one network, Singh said.
Earlier this year, the two carriers unveiled a joint website, enabling users to book, manage services and check-in to flights from both airlines across domestic and international routes with an integrated back-end passenger service system.