Air India unveils plan to re-establish itself over next 5 years

Sep 15, 2022 02:51 PM IST

Tata Group this year regained control of Air India 69 years after the government took over the airline in 1953.

Air India unveiled a transformation plan on Thursday focused on customer service, technology, reliability, and hospitality to re-establish itself over the next five years and increase its domestic market share to at least 30% and grow significantly internationally. The plan seeks to put Air India on a path to sustained growth, profitability, and market leadership.

Air India this week announced the leasing of 30 new aircraft over the next 15 months . (Bloomberg)
Air India this week announced the leasing of 30 new aircraft over the next 15 months . (Bloomberg)

“As part of [the plan] Vihaan.AI, Air India has put into place a detailed roadmap with clear milestones focussing on dramatically growing both its network and fleet, developing a completely revamped customer proposition, improving reliability and on-time performance, taking a leadership position in technology, sustainability, and innovation, while aggressively investing behind the best industry talent,” a spokesperson for the airline said.

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Air India this week announced the leasing of 30 new aircraft over the next 15 months and the introduction of premium economy class for the first time months after Tata Group regained control of the airline 69 years after the government took it over.

An airline official said the transformation plan has been developed after feedback from Air India employees on their aspirations and hopes for the airline’s growth, focused on exceptional customer experience, robust operations, industry-best talent, industry leadership, commercial efficiency, and profitability.

The immediate focus remains on fixing the basics. “...the more medium-to-long term focus will be on building become a global industry leader...,” a second official said.

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Air India’s MD and CEO Campbell Wilson called the plan the beginning of a historic transformation and the dawn of a new era. “We are laying the foundation for a brave new Air India, with a renewed sense of purpose and incredible momentum. Vihaan.AI is our transformation plan to make Air India the world-class airline it once was, and that it deserves to be again.”

Also read: Air India to work on improving punctuality, says CEO

Wilson said the transformation has begun as refurbishing of cabins, serviceable seats, and in-flight entertainment systems were underway. “We are also adopting proactive maintenance and refining flight schedules to enhance on-time performance. Our fleet expansion will involve a combination of both narrow-bodied and wide-bodied aircraft to cater to varied network needs. The excitement and shared commitment to drive is palpable across the organisation and stakeholders will recognise the changes as the new face of Air India emerges.”

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    I am a principal correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. I track the aviation and railways ministry. I also write on travel trends. I cover the beats at the national level for the newspaper. Before being in Delhi, I have worked as a journalist in Mumbai as well. My hobbies include trekking and travelling.

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