Air India Express (IX, Delhi International) has inducted its first Airbus aircraft, namely an A320-200N transferred from merged low-cost carrier AirAsia India, as the Air India Group moves towards consolidating its four AOCs into two.

VT-ATJ (msn 10520), a 2.3-year-old jet owned by AerCap, operated its last revenue flight for AirAsia India on August 23, 2023, flying from Jaipur via Hyderabad International to Bangalore International. It was then ferried back to Hyderabad, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. It then underwent maintenance and operated various test flights during September 2023, already under the Air India Express 'IX' code. It ran its first revenue flight for its new operator on October 4, flying from Bengaluru to Jaipur.

"This transfer will be progressively followed by all other aircraft so that, eventually, our two LCCs become one and we have full flexibility to deploy aircraft in the most optimal and efficient manner across our low-cost network," Air India Chief Executive Campbell Wilson said.

Air India Express has thus far operated Boeing aircraft exclusively. Its fleet comprises twenty-six B737-800s. The airline has already taken delivery of two B737-8s, but has yet to induct them into revenue service. In turn, AirAsia India operates twenty-five A320-200s and five A320-200Ns, the ch-aviation fleets module shows.

The merger of Air India Express and AirAsia India was approved in late July 2023. The two airlines will operate under the Air India Express brand before they become AIX Connect. The merger is expected to conclude by March 2024 and is the smaller of the two integration processes resulting from the acquisition of Air India by Tata Sons - the merger of Air India and Vistara has been okayed and is expected to close in 2024 at the earliest.