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Air India Express (AIE) board today granted its approval to a proposal, seeking a one-way codeshare pact with the parent Air India for some select destinations. The board, which met here today, also accorded its permission to the airline to launch air services to Iranian capital Tehran from early next fiscal, sources said. AIE is the international budget arm of the national carrier Air India. "Air India Express Board has given its green signal to the airline to operate codeshare flights with Air India. It has also given its approval to the proposed air services between New Delhi and Tehran from early next fiscal," sources privy to the information told PTI here. The pact would allow AIE to sell tickets and book passengers from the cities from where it does not fly, they said, adding, "Codeshare flights with Air India will be operated from 5-6 tier-II cities to begin with." Code sharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless transport to destinations where it has no presence. At present, Air India Express flies to 14 international destinations across Gulf and South-east Asia from 15 domestic airports with a fleet of 23 Boeing 737 planes. Sources also said that with the approval for Tehran flight in place, Air India Express may launch the service to the Iranian capital city as soon as by April next year. Earlier Air India used to fly to Tehran before it opted out of the route in the 1990s due to the political instability in the region at that time. AIE Chief Executive Officer K Shyamsundar had also month said that most of the issues pertaining to the launch have been sorted out and the airline was in the process of finalising a General Sales Agent (GSA) and cargo handling firm for this purpose.
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