Air India Express launches non-stop Singapore-Madurai flight

Connectivity between Singapore and India got even better as Air India Express launched a non-stop flight between Singapore and Madurai, a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The introduction of this new flight will cut down the travel time for visitors tremendously. From an earlier arrangement of flying to Chennai or Trivandrum and then taking a train or bus to Madurai now, people can take a direct, approximately four hours 15 minutes, flight.

The launch also makes Madurai the 16th Indian city to be connected directly from Singapore via flights. Traffic from India to Singapore has been growing year on year with the last year's increase being a 21 percent, ahead of the tourist traffic from China.

H.E, High Commissioner of India to Singapore Jawed Ashraf inaugurated the service at a simple ceremony organised at Changi Airport Terminal 2 yesterday. He also presented the first boarding card to a passenger; Murugesan Eswaran.

H.E. Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore  inaugurating Singapore-Madurai flight of Air India Express at Changi Airport Terminal 2.
H.E. Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore inaugurating Singapore-Madurai flight of Air India Express at Changi Airport Terminal 2. Photo courtesy: Air India Express

The inaugural flight, IX 683 took off at the scheduled departure time of 10.40 am, carrying passengers on its maiden flight to Madurai. The crew on board the inaugural flight included Captain Tapesh Chandra, First Officer Amritash Jaiswal with cabin crew Amit Kumar, Richa Rani, Aman Garg and Alok Bhangre.

Four flights a week from Singapore to Madurai will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with departure at 10.40 am on each day. The flight will arrive in Madurai at IST 12.25 pm. In the return direction, flight IX 684 will depart Madurai at IST 11.15 PM and arrive in Singapore at 06.15 AM. Madurai- Singapore services will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

H.E. Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore (right) and Sowmya Srinivasan, Country Manager, Air India, Singapore ( middle) present during the launch of Singapore-Madurai flight at Changi Airport Terminal 2.
H.E. Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore (right) and Sowmya Srinivasan, Country Manager, Air India, Singapore ( middle) present during the launch of Singapore-Madurai flight at Changi Airport Terminal 2. Photo courtesy: Air India Express

With the introduction of these flights, Air India Express service between Singapore and Tamil Nadu has increased to 36 flights per week. Daily non-stop services from Singapore to Trichy and Chennai will continue.

The country’s first international budget carrier, Air India Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India Limited. The budget carrier currently operates around 557 departures per week, connecting 16 Indian cities to 14 destinations in the Middle East and South East Asia.

The country’s first international budget carrier, Air India Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India Limited. The budget carrier currently operates around 557 departures per week, connecting 16 Indian cities to 14 destinations in the Middle East and South East Asia.

Beaming members of the Air India and Changi Airport Group (CAG) teams pose with the lions considered auspicious at business opening events in the Singapore Chinese culture.
Beaming members of the Air India and Changi Airport Group (CAG) teams pose with the lions considered auspicious at business opening events in the Singapore Chinese culture. Photo courtesy: Air India Express

The airline has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, six of which are brand new having joined the fleet recently on dry lease. These new aircraft are equipped to carry more capacity and come with lighter seats and higher performance capabilities. Though the airline follows the market principles of a low cost carrier, Air India Express offers complimentary tea, coffee and meals  on board as its USP.

The airline now offers passengers the additional facility to buy a special meal of their choice online on selected sectors. Air India Express also offers passengers the ease of reserving their seat of choice online along with the other online option to buy excess baggage.

Where is Madurai?

Meenakshi Temple
Meenakshi temple is the famous attraction at Madurai. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

Madurai is one of the oldest city of India and is regarded the soul of Tamil Nadu. It is famous all over the world for the celebrated Meenakshi Temple, a dazzling maze-like structure ranking among the India’s greatest temples. The temple is literally a splendid art gallery with each stone, each image breathing the tradition of this ancient and vibrant culture. The city is also regarded as 'Athens of East' that traded with Rome in ancient times. The direct connectivity of Madurai to Singapore will boost the tourism industry and also connect the Indian diaspora with its roots.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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