The first of the 470 aircraft that the Air India Group ordered in June last year at an estimated value of $ 70 billion is to start commercial services soon, Air India Express Managing Director, Air India Express, Aloke Singh said late Wednesday evening. The order included 250 Airbus and 220 Boeing aircraft.
“The first of the two Boeing 737-8 aircraft has arrived, and the first will begin commercial service in a few hours,” Singh said at the event in Mumbai. The new brand identity for Air India Express was officially revealed for the first time.
The airline’s new visual identity features an energetic and premium color palette of Express Orange and Express Turquoise with Express Tangerine and Express Ice Blue as secondary colors. The dominant Express Orange symbolizes Air India Express’s brand values of enthusiasm and agility while reflecting the positioning of quintessential Indian warmth. The Express Turquoise embodies the brand personality traits of style with a contemporary premium sensibility and a digital-first approach, the airline said in a statement.
Air India unveiled its new logo in August this year, which signifies limitless possibilities.
Campbell Wilson, Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, added that the Air India Group will receive one aircraft every six days through 2024. Tata Sons now owns Air India, Air India Express, Vistara, and Air Asia India. It has already announced that it will have one full-service airline and one low-cost airline by subsuming the other airlines in the group into one full-service and one low-cost.
Singh pointed out that over the course of the next five years, “we aim to grow to a fleet of about 170 narrow-body aircraft, with a network spanning the domestic India and short-haul international markets. Continuing with our unique tradition, the aircraft livery will feature a variable tailfin design inspired by the rich art and crafts heritage of the country, themed as ‘The patterns of India’“.
Air India Express subsumed Air Asia India earlier this year, with the process being cleared by the Indian market regulator, the Competition Commission of India. While pointing out that the two airlines’ branding, sales, and distribution will be on a common platform, Air Asia India will “go into the sunset” in some time. Singh said that for some time, passengers at airports will see flight codes of the individual airlines being followed.
Singh also said that with the induction of more aircraft, Express is looking to expand and increase the frequency in India and countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, South Asia, South East Asia, and the Gulf.
Last week, in a message to the employees, Singh said that key milestones, including migration to a standard reservations and check-in system, had been achieved regarding integrating the two carriers.
According to Singh, the focus is now on the preparedness for deploying this capacity, and that more than 800 aircrew and other operational personnel who have joined the entity are under various stages of training.
“On the integration front, key milestones have been achieved; these include migration to a common reservations and check-in system, a common website and agent portal, aligned product and service offerings, and above all, use of a common brand and domain,” the message added.