AIE's tri-weekly Hyderabad-Dubai flight from June 5

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Hyderabad, June 4 (UNI) Air India Express (AIE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Aviation Company of India Ltd and the country's first international no frill airline, will operate a direct Dubai-Hyderabad flight from tomorrow.

Airlines Chief Operating officer P P Singh told newspersons here today that the tri-weekly flights with state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 aircraft, carrying 185 passengers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, would leave Hyderabad at 1320 hrs (local time) and arrive in Dubai at 1520 hrs (local time).

In the return direction, the flight would depart from Dubai at 1715 hrs (local time) and arrive in Hyderabad at 2220 hrs (local time).

The inaugural fare would be Rs 2,500 onwards plus taxes as applicable for a one way trip. The inaugural round trip would cost Rs 5,440 plus taxes as applicable. The ticketing would be totally web-based electronic ticketing and passengers could directly book tickets online at www.airindiaexpress.in or could contact the designated travel agent for booking. ''Presently we have six approved agents in Hyderabad,'' he said.

With introduction of the flight from Hyderabad, effective from June 2, 2008, and Goa from June 17. AIE would be operating from 16 Indian stations -- Kozikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, Mangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Amritsar, Nagpur, Delhi, Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad and Goa.

The airline has 12 international stations on its network viz Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Al Ain, Salalah, Bahrain, Doha, Colombo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

AIE fleet presently has in its fleet 18 state-of-art Boeing 737-800 aircraft, one of the most technologically advanced single aisle jet aircraft.

By the end of 2009, it would have 25 aircraft in its fleet, 18 owned and seven leased -- three joining this year and another four own Boeings in the next year. The leased aircraft would be till 2010.

AIE, the international budget airline, has been operating on profit since it launched in April 2005, and ferried 1.8 million passengers during 2007-2008 and plans to carry to 2.3 million in the current fiscal, Capt P P Singh said.

The airline has posted Rs seven crore profit last year and planned to add new flights from Kochi, Kozhikode and Mangalore to Kuwait over the next two months despite 20 per cent shortage of pilots. Of the 83 pilots with AIE, 53 are foreigners.

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