Air India and AirAsia India sign cooperation agreement

The ink has not even dried on the Air India privatisation into the Tata Group, and the synchronisation has already started. The first cooperation across the Tata group airlines has started to emerge.

a group of airplanes at an airport

Image Courtesy AFP

AirAsia India and Air India to cooperate on IROPs

First, let’s talk about what is IROPs. Irregular Operations (IROPs), as defined by the International Air Travel Association (IATA), the body of airlines, are identified by an airline or ground handler acting on behalf of an airline when a disruption on the day of travel or the day prior to travel causes the customer to not be able to use the flight(s) ticketed. An Irregular Operation (IROP) may be, but is not limited to, a flight delay, cancellation, diversion due to weather, mechanical problem, landing restriction, air traffic congestion, accident/aircraft damage, security concern, immigration issue, oversold flight, boarding delay, crew shortage or other staff issues.

In such cases, airlines usually book customers on another airline, when they are unable to operate their flights. Usually, preferential agreements are signed between airlines to assign customers to another airline, where they hand over their customers to the other airline to fly them with minimum inconvenience. These are done on the back of IROPs agreements. The prices the airlines pay each other are lower than market prices for these last-minute tickets.

Now, an agreement has been signed between Air India and AirAsia India which will allow for the accommodation of disrupted passengers on the other airline. The agreement, signed for two years, is valid up to February 9, 2024, and is valid for domestic flights only (AirAsia India anyways does not have international flights). A document issued by Air India spelling out the agreement has been sighted by LiveFromALounge.

Here are some key terms of the agreement:

  • Fixed rates will be charged based on sector distance and applicable CUTE, PSF, ASF, UDF/ADF, service tax/GST or any other applicable taxes or charges.
  • The Transferring Airline’s baggage allowance as shown on the original ticket of the Transferring Airline will apply for passengers accepted by the Accepting Airline. Any excess baggage not purchased with the original booking will be chargeable at Accepting Airline’s excess baggage policy.

In case passengers are being transferred from AirAsia India to Air India, the transfer will be done 3-4 hours before the operation of the flight. Air India’s passengers who wish to get upgraded against the ‘Get Upfront Scheme’ would have priority over passengers being transferred from AirAsia to Air India’s business class.

Obviously, with SQ not on board with the Air India takeover, Vistara will not be participating in this IROPs arrangement and I am not aware if they separately have an IROPs arrangement with AI or I5 or not.


AirAsia India and Air India have signed up an Irregular Operations agreement, which will allow both of them to place their passengers on the other carrier in case there is any disruption of flights. This is the first sign of cooperation between the two airlines of the Tata Group.

What do you think about the first things you see coming out from the two carriers?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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