Air India may foray into low-cost carrier sector, again

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Srinagar, Jul 20: Let's hope it is second-time lucky for debt-ridden flagship carrier Air India. According to reports, the beleaguered company is planning to make a second foray into the low-cost carrier in the domestic sector.

According to a report in the Indian Express, the airline's board in its Jul 27 meeting, will consider a proposal on those lines.

The daily quoted an anonymous senior executive in the airlines as saying, “It has been proposed to overhaul Alliance Air"s current operations and turn it into a low-cost domestic carrier."

Alliance Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India and provides connectivity in the Eastern and North-Eastern sectors.

The executive was further quoted as saying, “The emphasis will be on 'on-time performances (OTP) and lower fares."

The source further said that the fleet of Alliance Air will be expanded by adding 14 Airbus 320 family aircraft from Air India (domestic). He said, “These are the older aircraft, which are currently being under-utilised. Initially, four of these will be inducted in the Alliance Air fleet."

There are also indications that the fares for the low-cost model will be priced at levels below Air India (domestic).

According to the source, the move will help the airline move higher than its current place as the last spot owners in the low-cost airline sector. The executive was quoted as saying, “The move will help Air India to tap into the low-cost market which is expanding rapidly."

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