Air India Express (IX, Delhi International) will take up to twenty A320 types from parent Air India (AI, Delhi International) under a fleet optimisation strategy that will see the low-cost carrier increase its flying across domestic and short-haul international routes. Air India will also transfer cabin crew and pilots to Air India Express. According to the Hindu Business Line news outlet, the aircraft will be transferred in phases over the next few months.

Air India Express, which is in the process of merging with AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India), is predominately a Boeing operator, with twenty-six B737-800s and twenty-six B737-8s, alongside four A320-200Ns and one A320-200. However, that imbalance will resolve when AIX Connect's twenty-three A320-200s and single A320-200N are folded into the fleet. Combined with the incoming Air India stock, the merged low-cost entity will be a predominantly Airbus operator.

Air India presently operates nine A320-200s and forty-six A320-200Ns, with another 125 on order. The news site notes that all but one are configured into a dual-class cabin. However, Air India is expected to convert the 20 heading to Air India Express into a single-cabin configuration. ch-aviation has contacted Air India for comment.

The fleet transfer is one piece of a broader overhaul of the Tata Sonswned airlines that will see Vistara (UK, Delhi International) merge with Air India in addition to a merger between the Tata-owned low-cost carriers. The mergers will reduce the number of Tata Sons airline brands to two. This week, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson said harmonisation processes between the various airlines are underway. The group hopes to complete the mergers by the end of this year.