Air India Express is set to expand its UAE operations in the next few weeks. By summer, flights to Mumbai and Delhi will operate twice a day from the UAE. The airline will be the only carrier connecting 12 Indian cities to the UAE with the introduction of Ras Al Khaimah to its network on March 28. Also, Air India Express will be the only airline to operate across all five airports in four of the emirates when it begins operations from Ras Al Khaimah later this year. Speaking at a press conference held in Dubai on March 20, K Shyamsundar, CEO, Air India Express, shed light on the airline’s expansion plans, its fleet development and the overall improvement and plans. “The year has been a good one for the airline and the future seems bright as well. We are expecting a net profit of INR250 crore this fiscal year. There’s a planned expansion of our services in the next three months; Air India Express will further consolidate its operations in the UAE by adding 39 frequencies per week to its existing 107 flights a week. We will operate a total of 146 flights in a week with an average of 21 frequencies a day, almost one every hour to India from the UAE,” said Shyamsundar. Service to Mumbai is set to double this summer with two new services between Mumbai-Dubai and Mumbai-Sharjah on April 7. On May 15 and 16, the Delhi sector frequency is also set to double with twice a day service to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively. Air India Express’ expansion to Kerala from the Gulf is being done in a phased manner said Shyamsundar with its first flight from Ras Al Khaimah to Kozhikode shuttling on March 28, followed by a double daily to Kozhikode from Dubai on June 1. “Ras Al Khaimah is being introduced as a new destination with a four flights a week to Kozhikode. The flight will fly via Al Ain, which will increase the frequency of flights between Al Ain and Kozhikode to four flights a week,” said Shyamsundar. He also added, “We have increased our focus on the Kozhikode market, the largest revenue centre of the airline, by enhancing capacity to an all time high of 11,718 seats per week from the present 8,184 seats.” The Dubai-Thiruvanathapuram route will also see an increase in frequency from five flights a week to six per week with seating capacity increased to 1,116 from the present 960 a week, this summer.