Air India Express and AirAsia India have announced the commencement of interline bookings, marking a significant step toward seamless integration between the two airlines. This initiative allows passengers to book a single itinerary covering connecting flights on both carriers, simplifying the travel experience.
Under the interline arrangement, passengers can book their flights with ease, receiving a single Passenger Name Record (PNR) for the entire journey. This unified booking system is accessible through the airlines’ common website and other online travel platforms.
For example, travelers can book a Lucknow-Delhi-Sharjah itinerary under a single PNR. When commencing their journey in Lucknow, they will receive boarding passes for both the Lucknow to Delhi and Delhi to Sharjah segments.
Air India Express and AirAsia India collectively operate a fleet of 54 aircraft, serving 44 destinations across India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia via more than 250 routes. In addition to interline bookings, the airlines have integrated ancillary services and sub-brands such as Gourmair in-flight dining, Xpress Prime seating, and Xpress Ahead priority services to enhance the passenger experience.
Aloke Singh, Managing Director of Air India Express and AirAsia India, highlighted the ongoing efforts to integrate the two airlines, even as the full merger progresses. He emphasized the emergence of a strong, integrated network covering India, the Gulf, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, which will be further enhanced with the expansion of the fleet.
In line with recent developments, the Tata group, which acquired full ownership of both Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express in January 2022, is planning to introduce a fresh brand identity for Air India Express by October. This initiative follows the launch of Air India’s new logo and livery.
The merger of AirAsia India and Air India Express was announced by the Tata group in November 2022. As part of this transaction, AirAsia Bhd divested its 16.67% stake in the airline, allowing the Tatas to acquire it for ₹155.65 crore. This merger aims to create a more robust and competitive airline entity in the Indian aviation industry.
AirAsia India operates over 50 direct routes and more than 100 connecting routes to 19 destinations in India, while Air India Express serves 14 international destinations and numerous domestic routes from various Indian cities. The seamless integration of these two carriers aims to provide passengers with more choices and a smoother travel experience.