Air India’s plans to modernise under new owner Tata

Air India is carving out an ambitious renaissance under the Tata Group conglomerate, which regained control last year after the airline was nationalised nearly seven decades ago.

2022

June 15 – Campbell Wilson, the New Zealand-born former CEO of Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) budget offshoot Scoot takes over as Air India CEO.

July 4 – Air India signs a deal to adopt Amadeus IT Group’s (AMA.MC) Altea software, including for revenue management.

Sept. 12 – Air India agrees to lease 25 Airbus (AIR.PA) narrowbody and five Boeing (BA.N) widebody aircraft to boost its existing fleet by over 25% in the near term. The airline also says it has returned 16 grounded aircraft to service.

Sept. 15 – Air India unveils a five-year turnaround plan called Vihaan.AI to become “a world-class global airline” by investing in customer service, technology and products. It aims to increase its domestic market share to at least 30% over five years, while significantly growing international routes.

Nov. 2 – Air India completes a deal to acquire 100% of AirAsia India and begins to integrate it with Air India Express as part of a broader restructuring of Tata’s airline business.

Nov. 29 – Tata says it will merge Air India with Vistara, its joint venture with Singapore Airlines. The Singaporean carrier will invest $252 million into Air India as part of the deal due to be completed by March 2024, giving it a 25.1% stake.

Dec. 8 – Air India to invest $400 million to refurbish its entire legacy widebody fleet of 40 planes, with the first due to enter service in mid-2024. This includes a complete overhaul of cabin interiors and in-flight entertainment systems and the introduction of a premium economy cabin.

2023

Jan. 12 – Air India reorganises flights to Britain with 12 weekly services to London Gatwick Airport from smaller Indian cities to capture a larger share of international traffic.

Feb. 13 – Air India resumes non-stop service between Mumbai and New York, weeks after the launch of non-stop Mumbai-San Francisco. Air India now offers 47 weekly non-stop flights between the U.S. and India.

Feb. 14 – Air India announces a record order for 470 jets from Airbus and Boeing, including 40 A350s, 20 787s and 10 777-9s, as well as 210 A320neo family jets and 190 737 MAXs. The first planes will enter service in late 2023, with the bulk to arrive from mid-2025. This comes on top of six Boeing widebody planes it agreed to lease in December.

Feb. 24 – Air India to hire over 4,200 cabin crew trainees and 900 pilots in 2023 for its rapid expansion, adding to more than 1,900 cabin crew and 285 pilots hired between April 2022 and February 2023.

Feb. 28 – Air India says it will have invested more than $200 million in 2022 and 2023 to upgrade technology including reservations and rostering systems.

March 2 – Air India resumes its non-stop service to Copenhagen from Delhi, weeks after restarting similar flights to Vienna and Milan, increases weekly non-stop flights between India and Europe to 79.

1 COMMENT

  1. Very positive story, South Asians want and need direct flights, at competitive prices and in clean, modern aircraft.

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