Air India Express has won the prestigious ‘Wings India Award 2022’, constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and FICCI, in recognition of its efforts to ensure business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Aloke Sigh, Chief Executive Officer of Air India Express, received the award from Shri. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation at a ceremony that took place on 25th March 2022 on the side-lines of WINGS INDIA 2022, Asia’s largest event on Civil Aviation.
The success of the Air India Express business continuity strategy is evident in its outcome, both on the financial and physical parameters, as well on the social and human side. The airline generated operating profits during the FY 2020-21, as well as during the period April to December 2021-22. The airline believes that its business continuity efforts have put it on a strong footing, to continue the next phase of its corporate journey under the new ownership, towards transformation, excellence, and growth.
One of the key initiatives taken by Air India Express for ensuring business continuity was to augment its cargo operations by introducing an innovative concept of cargo-in-cabin services. A further innovation the airline launched were the P2C flights, which ferried cargo (in the aircraft belly holds as well as in the cabin) in outbound flights and carried passengers in inbound flights.
These initiatives among others not only helped the Airline to make up for the lost revenue streams but also helped India’s farmers to transport their agricultural produce to overseas destinations without delay.
The airline kept its entire fleet flying, albeit at low unit utilisation. No aircraft was put into storage. No employee was laid off or sent on compulsory leave, measures that almost all aviation and travel companies had to adopt.
In FY 2020-21, 1.47 million passengers and 13,331 tons of cargo were carried under the VBM/Air Bubble flights. In FY 2021-22 (April – January), 1.75 million passengers and 22,009 tons of cargo were carried. Air India Express introduced around 165 new city pairs during this period to enhance connectivity.
Air India Express, India’s first international budget carrier was launched in 2005, to meet the need for affordable, low-cost services on short-haul, regional international routes. Today, it primarily serves the Gulf, Middle East and South-East Asia region, and is the market leader in the LCC segment to the Gulf/Middle East region.
With Kochi as headquarters, Air India Express operates short and medium-haul international routes on a point-to-point network, connecting many smaller towns directly to the Gulf and South-East Asia regions, with a fleet of 24 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Quality, affordability, convenience and comfort for passengers; that’s what Air India Express has stood for since the beginning.