As the contours of the merger of national flag carrier Air-India with Indian (Indian Airlines) are being finalised, the merged entity will have single code, AI, and the famous IC code for Indian will cease to exist.
According to sources, the new aircraft Boeing 777 LR for Air-India and Airbus 321 for Indian which are expected to arrive in June will be painted in the livery. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel is expected to unveil the branding details next week.
The managements of Air-India and Indian and consultant Accenture held a workshop on Thursday to finalise the logo, which will be a combination of the Air-India Centaur and Indian’s Chakra. However, the brand name of the merged entity will be Air-India and it will have a single code, AI for domestic as well as international sectors.
V Thulasidas, chairman and managing director of Air-India said, “India is full of colour and we will ensure that new theme will capture the essence of being a national flag carrier.”
Without disclosing the details of the merger, Thulasidas said the merged entity would have a single code and the target was to bring the entire operations under this code within six months. A team is also integrating the network to rationalise routes and flights. “This will help in providing a seamless connecting service to all the major destinations,” he added.
Going forward, Air-India is planning to start direct flights from four or five Indian cities to the east and west coasts of the US “After Mumbai and Delhi, we are exploring the possibilities of starting direct non-stop flights from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai,” he said.
The national flag carrier may change the configuration of 68 aircraft, for which it has placed orders. Currently, it is buying eight Boeing 777 LR and 15 Boeing 777 ER. Now it is planning to buy 15 Boeing 777 LR, which can fly non-stop for up to 18 hours.