Air India Express (AIE), India’s first international budget carrier, commenced its operations from Vijayawada International Airport today, with the inauguration of first ever non-stop connectivity to Mumbai. Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Honourable Union Minister for Civil Aviation inaugurated the Vijayawada-Mumbai service at a colorful function held at the airport. Honourable Ministers, Shri Kamineni Srinivas, Shri Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao & Shri Kollu Ravindra, Honourable Members of Parliament Shri Kesineni Srivasa Rao & Shri K. Narayana Hon’ble MLAs Shri V. Vamsi Mohan, Shri Gadde Ram Mohan Rao, Shri B. Prasad and Shri Jaleel Khan, Honourable Mayor of Vijayawada Shri Koneru Sridher, Honourable MLCs Shri Buddha Venkiteswara Rao, Shri Y.V.B Rajendra Prasad and senior officials of Air India and Air India Express were present on the occasion. Hon’ble Union Minister presented the first boarding card to the family of Shri Rajashekar Babu.
The inaugural flight, IX 213 departed at the scheduled departure time of 10.30 AM, carrying 98 passengers on its maiden flight to Mumbai. The flight will arrive in Mumbai at 12.10 PM. Honourable Union Minister and senior officials of Air India Express including the CEO, Shri K. Shyam Sundar traveled in the inaugural flight along with the passengers. The crew on board the inaugural flight included Capt. Dheeraj Malviya, First Officer M.S. Manjerekar, along with cabin crew, Masvi Dadia,Pranita Surve,Poonam Nagavekar and Anagha Nile.
Mumbai- Vijayawada- Mumbai service of Air India Express will be available thrice weekly, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Flight IX 214 will depart from Mumbai at 8.00 AM and arrive into Vijayawada at 09.45 AM. This connection has come as a boon for the passengers to the Vijayawada who until now had to opt for flights with stopovers, which added to the travel time. Air India and its wholly Alliance Air already connect Vijayawada to Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru with daily flights. With the new service, the city of Vijayawada is now connected to all the major metros in the country.
Air India Express, is a wholly- owned subsidiary of Air India Limited, and its headquarters is in Kochi, Kerala. It has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, six of which are brand new, having joined the fleet recently, on dry lease. These new aircraft are equipped to carry more capacity and come with lighter seats and higher performance capabilities.
Though the airline follows the market principles of a low cost carrier, Air India Express offers complimentary tea, coffee and meals on board as its USP. The airline also offers passengers the facility to book ancillary services online.
The airline now offers passengers the additional facility to buy a special meal of their choice online on selected sectors. Air India Express also offers passengers the ease of reserving their seat of choice online along with the other online option to buy excess baggage. Responding to market needs, the airline has enhanced its presence on various social media platforms and its Facebook page, facebook/AirIndiaExpressOfficial is being used to share information and to respond to customer feedback.