New Abu Dhabi-Kochi Flight on Air India Express
With competition growing in the Gulf aviation sector, Air India Express is working on ways to spread its wings further.
This low-cost Indian carrier has announced three additional weekly flights to Kochi from Abu Dhabi.
Air India Express travel consultant Abdul Salih said the service will come into effect from 15th June, 2017.
There was a growing demand on the Kochi sector as Air India Express had only one daily service. The existing flight is an 8:50 PM flight from Abu Dhabi that reaches Kochi at 2:25 AM. The additional service will depart at 4:55 AM and arrive in Kochi at 10:30 AM.
The new service and timings are welcomed by expats from the Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala.
The new service will operate on peak demand days of Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Maxon George, a passenger from Kochi, is happy with an additional service. “This is an affordable flight meant for the common man. I am happy that more flights are being plied on Kochi sector. This move coming during the vacation period will be of great relief to public,” George, who works at a private company, said.
Jacob Roy, a passenger from Pathanamthitta, welcomed the service, especially the timing.
“Now my family needn’t come and hang around the airport from 2am. They can have a good sleep and be there by 10:30 AM.”
However, the return flight from Kochi is at 1:25 AM and reaches Abu Dhabi by 3:55 AM. The existing flight departs from Kochi at 5:20 PM and touches down in the capital by 7:50 PM.
The baggage allowance on departing flights is 30kg and returning ones is at 20kg.
The airline has also announced all its international flights will depart and arrive at Terminal 3 of Kochi airport.
Meanwhile, Air India Express is in discussions with low-cost flyers for collaboration opportunities, including codeshare of flights and interline agreements. Such deals will provide smooth connectivity between multiple flights.
According to the airline’s tender for an automated revenue management system, Air India Express has entered into a codeshare agreement with Air India on select routes.
“In the future, Air India Express may enter into interline arrangements with other low-cost carrier or full service carrier airlines to expand its reach,” the tender said.
Such an agreement, if reached with any of Abu Dhabi-, Dubai- or Sharjah-based airline, will add to passengers’ comfort who take multiple flights.
The airline carries around 3.5 million passengers a year and has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737800 aircraft. At present, Air India Express flies to 15 international destinations.