aaipl: One family: Air India and AirAsia India to accept each other’s domestic flyers in case of flight disruptions


NEW DELHI: In the first step towards cooperation between Tata Group airlines, Air India and AirAsia India (AAIPL) will accept each other’s domestic passengers in case one carrier’s flights are disrupted for some reason. The two have signed an “interline considerations on irregular operations” (IROPs) agreement for two years that is valid up to February 9, 2024, to offer “first available alternate flights to minimise inconvenience to passengers.” The over 7-year-old AAIPL so far does not have any international passenger flights.
After taking control of AI and AI Express late last month, the Tata Group now has four airlines in its fold including Vistara and AAIPL. Given the new owner’s resolve to improve AI’s on-time performance, or punctuality, February 10, 2022, the agreement specifically says departure of Air India “should not be affected on account of acceptance of stranded passengers” of AAIPL.
“The carriage of passengers shall be on ‘as available basis as determined by the airport manager of accepting airline. The decision of the airport manager of accepting the airline would be final as regards availability of seats… The transferring airline’s baggage allowance as shown on the original ticket of the transferring airline will apply for passengers accepted by the accepting airline. Any excess baggage not purchased with the original booking will be chargeable at accepting airline’s excess baggage policy,” the IROPS agreement says.
Air India passengers who wish to upgrade by using the paid “get upfront” scheme will have priority over passengers being transferred from 28-aircraft-strong AAIPL to AI business class.
People in the know say there is going to be greater synergy between AI, AAIPL and AI Express in the coming days. Singapore Airlines (SIA), which owns 49% of Vistara, is yet to agree to a merger with India’s only other full-service carrier as of now — AI. Tatas have so far not spelt out their airline plans, there are two possibilities till SIA gets on board. They may have three airlines — AI, Vistara and a low cost by merging AAIPL and AI Express. Or there may be two airlines — one big AI that merges the two LCCs in its fold and Vistara.
While it remains to be seen what the Tatas decide on, there is going to be increased cooperation between the three airlines which is going to be good news for passengers.


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