New Delhi: Air India Express on Sunday started direct services from the national capital to the UAE, with the first flight to Dubai being flagged off by chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani. "The inaugural flight to Dubai, IX 141, took off with 166 passengers from New Delhi at 9.05 a.m. on Sunday. The daily flight to Abu Dhabi will be effective Monday," Air India Express said in a statement. The airline's direct flight from Delhi to the capital city, Abu Dhabi would begin from Monday. Kochi-headquartered Air India Express will operate the two direct flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi daily. New Boeing 737-800 aircraft with capacity to carry 189 passengers are being deployed.