AI Express shifts HQ to Kochi

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Jan 1 2011, 09:17am hrs
Air India Express is shifting headquarters to Kochi from Mumbai. The engineering base will be in Thiruvananthapuram.

Company sources told FE that Air India Express chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav has signed the document, finalising the shift of headquarters.

However, it is not clear yet when the shifting operations will be complete. In Kochi, an office of the former Indian Airlines will be converted to Air India Expresss Central Administrative office. About 60 employees from its Mumbai office are likely to move to the revamped office space.

This move is part of an efficiency blueprint, including launch of cheap-fare domestic routes from April, rebranding to Express India and improving utilisation of its 21-strong fleet from nine hours to 12.5 hours daily.

It is also indication that the Kerala-Gulf sector would be more active in the coming year.

It is because of the reason that over 70% of operations of Air India Express is in Kerala that the lowcost carrier is shifting base to Kochi in Central Kerala. After Mangalore, Air India Express gets the most number of travellers from Nedumbassery airport in Kochi. In case of technical snags in the aircraft, the substitute plane had to be brought from Mumbai, often causing various operational delays and higher cost.