Five months after AirAsia India was fully acquired and subsidiarised under Air India, and three months after both AirAsia India and Air India Express were placed under a single CEO, the two carriers have moved to a unified reservation system. This means that passengers can now make bookings for both airlines through an integrated website.
The two airlines have also moved to a single website, and adopted common social media and customer support channels. This migration, which largely involved Air India Express migrating to the systems used by AirAsia India, confers significant capability and efficiency benefits for the airline and passengers, an Air India statement said on Tuesday.
In the coming months, the two airlines will continue integrating other internal systems and eventually, their air operating permits and regulatory posts.
According to an Air India statement, the integration of Air India Express will bring revenue, cost and operational benefits through broader adoption of each airline’s best practices, systems and routes, and confer greater economies of scale. “The new Air India Express will focus on leisure-oriented and price-sensitive markets while improving connectivity between key domestic cities and Air India’s fast-expanding international network,” it added.
Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said the integration of the core reservations and passenger-facing systems of Air India Express and AirAsia India marks a significant milestone in the Air India Group’s transformation journey. “This new Air India Express, operating both domestically and internationally using systems optimised for low-cost airlines, gives the Group a much stronger LCC (low-cost carrier) platform,” he added.
AirAsia India flies to 19 domestic destinations while Air India Express operates to 14 international destinations from 19 Indian cities.
Last year, Tata Group acquired Air India along with Air India Express and a 50% stake in ground handling firm Air India SATS Airport Services. It has four airlines — Air India, Air India Express, AirAsia India and Vistara.