Air India Express is in discussions with Dubai-based flydubai for collaboration opportunities, including code share among their flights. The move comes at a time when AI Express, which operates a significant number of flights to Gulf nations, is working on ways to spread its wings further. Part of the Air India group, the carrier has plans to fly to new destinations. An official said the airline is discussing ways to collaborate with flydubai for possible sales and marketing beyond Dubai.
Various options, including code share of flights and interline agreement, are being looked at, the official added.
Code share and interline pacts provide for smooth connectivity between multiple flights. When contacted, a flydubai spokesperson said India is a very important market for the airline. “We are always looking at new opportunities in the market to facilitate travel between India and Dubai,” the spokesperson said in a e-mailed statement.
AI Express flies to 14 international destinations, including Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Salalah, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Riyadh and Dhaka. Besides, it has domestic services on various routes.
Currently, AI Express has a code share pact with Air India on select routes. “In the future, Air India Express may enter into interline arrangements with other LCC (Low Cost Carrier) or FSC (Full Service Carrier) Airlines to expand its reach,” as per details provided in a tender document floated by the airline seeking bids for an automated revenue management system.
The airline carries around 3.5 million passengers a year and has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Dubai government-owned flydubai operates flights to more than 85 destinations, including various Indian cities.