Flying sky-high with growth
At a time when most domestic airlines are grappling with losses and financial crisis, Air India Express has bucked the trend of a declining scenario with the fourth straight year of net profit.
R witness similar success this 2019. K Shyam Sundar, CEO, the airline has been growing continuously for the past four years. “In 2016-17, we saw a whooper of a growth. During 2017-18, we witnessed growth that was an impact of all the new aircraft coming to us over the years. We accumulated 14 per cent growth, we had a higher load factor, and our yields went up by 16 per cent. During 2018-19, we did much better than the year before. reach and targets. Today, the utilisation of our aircraft is 14 hours a day, which is phenomenal,” says Sundar. The wholly-owned subsidiary of beleaguered state-run carrier looking at its fourth straight year player in connecting southern India to the Middle East, Sundar been successful in setting itself apart from other LCCs in many ways. He says, “We have a ‘stage length’ of about four hours between landings, which means that we have a very low engineering cost. We have a good booking system and ancillary revenues, which are important To me, the most important thing is operating from non-metro cities and not from Mumbai or Delhi, where you have fuel consumption which you did not
With Tier-II cities being its core market, Sundar says always been a niche player and will continue to target newer markets. “Our focus will continue to be on connecting Tier-II cities through not going to bang our heads for Mumbai and Delhi, we need metro cities only for strategic reasons. We have recently connected Sharjah and The response from this route has been stronger than was promotion,” says Sundar. Amid all uncertainties, Sundar also spoke of the possibility carrier is looking forward to inducting new aircraft. Elaborating, he said, “I feel that we need the new 737 MAX aircraft. It opens up a lot of opportunities, including the possibility of ply for 65 per cent of outbound we have 25 aircraft of which we have leased out 17 while the rest are owned by us. By 2020, we will own 17 aircraft and only eight will be let out on operational lease.” connects to 13 international destinations (Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah, Dammam, Riyadh, Kuwait, Muscat, Salalah, Doha, Bahrain, and Singapore) from 20 Indian cities (Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Mangaluru, Vijayawada, Mumbai, Pune, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, and Surat).
We need to update the current fleet with the new 737 MAX aircraft. It opens up a lot of opportunities, including the possibility of plying long-haul flights, accounting for 65 per cent of outbound traffic from India
K Shyam Sundar CEO, Air India Express