Air India to convert 10 old Airbus jets for domestic low-cost service

New Delhi: Flag carrier, Air India, will convert 10 old Airbus aircraft to an all-economy class configuration in their ambitious attempt to launch domestic low-cost operations by mid-September. The low-cost services will be offered through subsidiary Air India Express.

Holding company National Aviation Co. of India Ltd (NACIL) operates Air India Express as its international low-fare carrier.

With Air India performance under intense scrutiny, the carrier is now being compelled to enter the domestic low-cost market in a bid to salvage market share which it has gradually lost to private competitors.

Air India Express' domestic launch is likely to bring down ticket prices as competition intensifies in a struggling market.

Rival private services, such as Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, already operate up to 70 per cent of their services on a low-cost model. Jet Airways already offers JetLite and JetKonnect as alternative low-cost services to its customers.

For some strange reason Air India had left the field entirely in the clear to private competitors for this high revenue turnover model.