The owners of AirAsia India (Bengaluru International) will rename the low-cost carrier to AIX Connect (I5, Bengaluru International) as the first steps of the airline's merger with Air India Express (IX, Delhi International) gets underway. AirAsia India has officially informed India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs (NCA) of the impending name change to AIX Connect Pvt Ltd.

Tata Sons acquired a 100% stake in AirAsia India in early November after buying a 16.33% shareholding held by the AirAsia Aviation Group. Almost immediately, the Indian conglomerate flagged the merger with Air India Express. Tata Sons also plans to merge Air India (AI, Delhi International) and Vistara (UK, Delhi International) in what will be a major shake up of India's commercial airline industry.

India's Economic Times reported on December 26, 2022, that the name change is part of the ongoing merger process. Citing an anonymous official, the report said a common website, call centre, social media handles, boarding passes, and luggage tags are all also under consideration. Tata Sons presently plans to finalise merger proceedings by the end of 2023.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the newly merged low-cost entity has been named. Air India Express CEO Aloke Singh will step into the role on January 1, 2023. What future role AirAsia India CEO and Tata Sons loyalist Sunil Bhaskaran will have at the merged airline is unknown.

"The two constituent airlines will continue to have the full complement of regulatory post-holders until the merger is complete but, for now, a single CEO will provide the clarity and singular accountability necessary to navigate the process," Air India CEO Campbell Wilson said last week in an internal memo.

According to ch-aviation fleets data, AirAsia India operates a fleet of 33 aircraft, including twenty-eight A320-200s and five A320-200Ns, while Air India Express operates twenty-four B737-800s. Based on available domestic weekly seat capacity, AirAsia India currently has a 7.39% market share, and Air India Express has 0.15%. However, Air India Express has an extensive international network with flights to Dubai International, Doha Hamad International, Abu Dhabi International, Al Ain, Bahrain International, Dammam, Jeddah International, Kuwait, Muscat, Ras al Khaimah International, Riyadh, Salalah, Singapore Changi, and Sharjah, while AirAsia India is purely a domestic operator. Nonetheless, the merger will consolidate the Tata Son's low-cost airline entity as India's second biggest low-cost carrier after IndiGo.