Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) will resume scheduled passenger flights to Africa later this quarter, Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri has announced.

In a tweet, Puri said 4x weekly Mumbai Int'l-Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya flights would start from September 27. The service, which will reportedly be onboard B787-8 equipment, will help to bolster ties between India and Kenya.

The state-owned flag carrier offers regular flights throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

Meanwhile, Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) is gearing for its own international growth. The CEO of Air India's low-cost subsidiary, K Shyam Sundar, told The Times of India this past weekend that its board had recently approved a proposal to induct 11 more aircraft on a dry-lease basis given stronger than expected demand. Air India Express currently operates twenty-five B737-800s on flights to 33 cities across India as well as Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Qatar, and Bahrain.

"The matter has been referred to the (aviation) ministry for government clearance in view of the prevailing circumstances (hinting at the proposed divestment)," he said.

"We have already drawn up a viable plan of operations for the proposed fleet expansion. There has been tremendous growth in AI Express’ load factor and revenues in the current fiscal. At the current rate, the airline’s turnover should go well past INR50 billion (USD719 million) in FY 19-20 against budgeted figure of INR47 billion (USD675.9 million). Revenue in FY 2018-19 was just a little over INR42 billion (USD604 million),” he added.