The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday gave its go ahead to the Tata Group's initiative to merge the budget airline AIX Connect (previously known as AirAsia India) with Air India Express, a senior DGCA official confirmed to IANS.
This marks a crucial step before the planned legal merger of the two entities can take place.
"The airline has now received regulatory approvals to operate its flights under the ‘Air India Express’ branding. This development marks a significant fast-tracking of the integration efforts, including harmonisation of customer touch points, products, and services across both airlines," the airline said in a statement.
"The approval from the regulator allows both Air India Express Ltd (AIXL) and AIX Connect (AIXC) flights to be marketed, distributed and operated under a common brand name 'Air India Express', prior to the subsequent scheduled legal merger of the two entities," it said.
"The proposal to synergise the consumer offerings under a unified and renewed brand within the next few months demonstrates the commitment to a superlative customer promise, streamlining product and service standards and unlocking synergies between the two companies," it further said.
Earlier this month, 'Xpress Ahead’ priority services were extended as an ancillary add-on to guests of both airlines, offering priority check-in, boarding and baggage. Both airlines will also be synergising a host of other ancillary add-on services and common sub-brands.
AIXL currently operates flights from 20 Indian cities to 14 regional international destinations, while AIXC serves 19 domestic destinations, complementing each other's networks to provide more extensive travel options for passengers.