Air India Express will increase from on Monday the number of seats by 2,220 per week on its flights to the Middle East from the three airports in Kerala.
The reason for this increase is the delinking of Thiruvananthapuram from Kochi and Kozhikode, said HA Munaf, chief of Air India operations in Thiruvananthapuram.
"On account of the delinking, passengers from Thiruvananthapuram can now reach their Middle-East destination at least two hours before as compared to the present schedule because it would be a non-stop flight from here," Munaf told reporters late on Saturday.
As a result of the new arrangement, the total number of weekly flights from Kerala would go up from 64 to 76.
"The total seats on Air India Express flights from Thiruvananthapuram will go up from 1,530 seats weekly to 2,395 seats, Kozhikode will have an additional 900 seats, up from 5,705 and at Kochi there would be an increase of 455 seats," Munaf said.
Air India Express operates to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Doha and Bahrain from Kerala.
The airline will soon be launching flights to Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as well.
With this delinking, there is also expected to be a corresponding increase in seats on Kerala-Middle East flights of other international airlines too. But Air India Express is not afraid of competition.
"We are quite confident that we will be able to handle any sort of competition simply because our fares are one of the cheapest. Since the commencement of Air India operations nearly three years back, we are having a load factor of 90 percent," Munaf said.