Air India Express’ Chandigarh to Sharjah
On 15 September Air India Express launched a thrice-weekly service from Chandigarh to Sharjah. This 2,167-kilometre link was the Indian airport’s first international service. A cake was produced (somewhat hurriedly?) to mark the occasion.
- Air India Express over the course of two days launched three new routes to Sharjah (SHJ) in the UAE. On 14 September the LCC began daily flights from both Tiruchirappalli (TRZ) and Varanasi (VNS) using its 737-800s. Neither route is served by any other carrier. The following day it was the turn of Chandigarh (IXC) to receive a thrice-weekly connection to the UAE airport. This was more significant as it became the first international service from the Indian airport. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data Air India Express now has a 12% share of seats in the India-UAE market, ranking it fourth. Leading the way with 28% is Emirates, followed by Etihad Airways (17%) and Jet Airways (14%). A total of nine airlines connect the two countries with non-stop flights. The other five carriers are Air Arabia (9%), IndiGo (7%), SpiceJet (6%), Air India (5%) and flydubai (2%).