Air India Express plans to double its daily departures by next fiscal, said Aloke Singh, the company’s CEO.

The airline is at 325 daily departures currently with a 50:50 divide of domestic and international destinations. It aims to add more domestic routes in the coming fiscal year. The Tata-owned airline will soon start operations from MOPA, the second airport in Goa, as well.

“We are at about 320 daily departures today. By the end of next year, we will double our daily departures,” said Aloke Singh, adding that by the next winter schedule, the airline will have increased its daily departures by 40 per cent.

Air India Express is a subsidiary of Air India and part of the Tata Group, operating over 325 flights daily, connecting 31 domestic and 14 international airports, with a fleet of 63 aircraft, comprising 35 Boeing 737s and 28 Airbus A320s. 

When asked whether the airline would focus more on the domestic deployment or international, Singh said it “will be a mix of both”. He explained that the airline’s current capacity deployment is about 50-50 per cent domestic and International. “The said allocation will continue for about a year, year and a half. Then we will start then it’ll start getting skewed a little more towards the domestic,” he added. 

The company has a two-prong strategy, according to him. On the one hand, the domestic market, in terms of volume, will be the company’s core for the short haul international market and its domestic presence will be increasing. On the other hand, it will continue to fill gaps. 

“We all know that the domestic India market is skewed a lot towards the low cost segment, so it is logical that the Air India Express presence in the domestic Indian market will be fairly large. And at the same time there will be a lot of customers who are going to be traveling to domestic India tier 2 and three markets to long haul destinations to Europe and Australia,” he said.

The airline is said to take delivery of 42 aircraft in 2024. This will take its fleet size to approximately 180 aircraft by the end of 2028, he explained. Unlike now, the said aircraft is likely to come with an all-economy configuration. However, the airline will continue to have premium seats on its future aircraft as well. 

“As soon as we get capacity, and there is a business case, we will fill the gaps, especially in the Gulf and Middle East. “Post this, we are looking at South Asia including Nepal, Bangladesh, perhaps Sri Lanka,  Thailand and Malaysia. Then maybe a year from now, we will be looking at the other Southeast Asian markets including Vietnam, including more into Thailand,” he added.

Speaking about network expansion on secondary airports, Singh said that the airline is soon going to start operations from MOPA Goa airport and sees a strong business case to have stronger operations from Noida airport and Navi Mumbai airport.