With Air India Express's soon-to-be-launched services to Bahrain and Dammam from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, the southern Indian state of Kerala will benefit from two new connections to the Middle East. In order to increase the number of flights it offers during the winter, the airline has opted to lease two Boeing 737s from Vistara. Over the coming years, the airline is also set to receive significant money from the Tata Group for fleet expansion.
Adding New Middle Eastern Routes
Two more flights operated by the low-cost international carrier Air India Express will shortly depart from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in Kerala. In a statement, the airport announced that the airline would begin operating flights to Bahrain on November 30 and Dammam, Saudi Arabia, on December 1.
Gulf Air already connects Thiruvananthapuram with Bahrain on seven weekly flights, but Air India Express will be the first airline to link it with Dammam. The flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Bahrain will run twice every week on Wednesday and Sunday, leaving at 17:35 and arriving at 20:05 local time. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, the service to Dammam will run, leaving at 17:35 and arriving at 20:25 local time. Jazeera Airways, a low-cost airline based in Kuwait, recently began flying twice weekly on Monday and Wednesday directly to Thiruvananthapuram.
Demand for international travel
Since there is once again a desire for foreign travel, Air India Express has been seeing outstanding load levels. To accommodate demand, the airline started experimenting with the notion of leasing a few Boeing 737 aircraft in June.
In order to expand its winter flying schedule, it was previously rumoured that Air India Express would accept two 737s on lease from Vistara, another airline owned by the Tata Group.
The airline hasn't added any new planes to its fleet in a very long time. Over the years, there had been proposals for fleet growth, but nothing ever came to pass. It now has a fleet of 24 Boeing 737 aircraft that are all Boeing. But given that the Tata Group intends to invest between $75 and $100 million in AI Express over the following five years, all of that may alter in the years to come.
The company will probably invest $15–20 million a year, most of which would go toward purchasing additional planes for the intended network growth.
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport
The secondary hub for Air India Express, as well as a significant domestic carrier focus city, is the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The Kerala Flying Club was founded in 1932, and throughout the years, its operations have significantly expanded. It was designated an international airport in 1991.
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport was given to the Adani Group in October of last year as part of the Facilities Authority of India's (AAI) proposal to lease out some of its airports.
According to a contract inked with the AAI, Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Ltd (ATIAL), a fully owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd, would manage, operate, and develop the airport for 50 years.