Air India Express, the low-cost arm of Air India, launched a non-stop service between the capital city and the textile and industrial city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Honorable Union Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju and honorable Minister of State for Civil aviation Jayant Sinha inaugurated the service in the presence of Air India Chairman and Managing Director Shri Rajiv Bansal and Air India Express CEO K. Shyam Sundar at a function held at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Minister Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju presented the first boarding card to the family of Mrs. Vishupriya Srinivasan. Lighting of the traditional lamp and cutting of a cake marked the inaugural of flight IX 165. Rosebuds were given to all passengers and the counters were lit up and decorated, adding to the festive mood.
Inaugural flight, IX 165 departed 5 minutes prior to its scheduled departure time of 07.00 pm, carrying 102 passengers on its maiden flight to Coimbatore. The inaugural flight was given a water canon salute. Mr. K.Shyam Sundar, CEO, Air India Express and senior officials of the airline traveled in the inaugural flight along with the passengers. The crew onboard the inaugural flight included Captain Kapil Gupta and Captain Mohinder Pal Singh Gill, along with cabin crew Jyoti Sharma, Shefali Chapre, Hema and Neha Thakur.
The flight will arrive in Coimbatore at 10.00 pm. In the return direction, the flight IX 166 will depart Coimbatore at 02.05 pm and arrive in Delhi at 05.05 pm. The Delhi- Coimbatore service of Air India Express will be available three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and the Coimbatore-Delhi service will also be available, thrice a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
The country’s first international budget carrier, Air India Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India Limited. The budget carrier currently operates around 555 departures per week, connecting 16 Indian cities to 13 destinations in the Middle East and South East Asia. The airline 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 now offers passengers the additional facility to buy a special meal of their choice online, on select sectors. Passengers traveling from Delhi to Coimbatore, Madurai, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, can now purchase online, a meal of their choice. 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.com/AirIndiaExpressOfficial is being used to share information and to respond to customer feedback.