Air India: an overview
- Air India, the arm of Air India Limited is a Government owned aviation enterprise.
- Tata Airlines, which was initiated by J.R.D. Tata became a public limited company on 29 July 1946 under the name- Air India.
- A proposed merger of Air India with Star Alliance in 2007 was stalled due to non-compliance in membership standards. However, in December 2013, this collaboration was completed.
India’s first frequent flyer scheme launched
Air India came up with “Flying Returns” - India’s first frequent flyer programme. This scheme was highly rewarding and it was available in all of Air India Limited carriers.
International flights hit rock-bottom
- Air India lost about ₹ 4,273.35 crore on the operations of international carriers. About 57 of the 59 international carriers recorded a loss for the year 2013-14.
- About 32 flights from the said 59 failed to even recover the operational cost, let alone make profits.
- Air India also estimated that scrapping just three of the top loss-making flights could combat further losses.
Minimizing staff to combat losses
- The Government commanded Air India to improve the financial performances. Air India immediately proposed a cost-cutting of ₹14 billion.
- It also announced that excess in human resources would be identified and contractual hiring would be terminated. Hospitality staff recruitment was also minimized.
- The high-operating costs of Air India and entrant of newer low-fare airlines caused the continual losses.
Air India registers recovery from losses
- Air India, recovered from losses to make a net profit of ₹14.6 crore in December 2014. Total revenue increased by 6.5% from ₹1,994 crore of the previous year to ₹2070 crore.
- The operating profit increased from ₹2 crore in 2013 to ₹183 Crore in 2014.
- Passenger revenue for the year 2014-15 was meanwhile estimated to be ₹16,500 crore.
PM proposes a make-over to age-old mascot
The iconic "Maharaja" of Air India underwent a change in the appearance to look like a "common man". This was recommended by Narendra Modi, during a presentation by the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Air India makes first profit in 10 years
- Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajpathi Raju said that the performance of Air India has improved and it is making profit for the first time in 10 years.
- Speaking in Rajya Sabha he said "Air India's all-time performance has increased. This year it is making profit."
- He also reassured the house about Air India's improved safety standards, saying "no risk to life would be tolerated."
Air India to expand fleet, operations in 2017
- Air India chief Ashwani Lohani said the company plans to add 35 new planes to its fleet this year as part of the company's "consolidation and expansion" plan.
- The company has a fleet of about 140 planes; AI has 106 planes, AI Express has 23 and Alliance Air has about 10.
- Lohani said AI also plans to connect "new international and new domestic destinations."
Air India now upgrades luggage allowance on Delhi-Mumbai flights
- Air India on Saturday came up with another offer of upgrading their baggage allowance on Delhi-Mumbai Boeing 747 flights.
- Presently, up to 25kg check-in bags are allowed in AI's economy class and 35kg in business class.
- According to AI's statement, this has been upgraded to 40kg and 50kg respectively and will be effective Sunday onwards.
AI introduces handcuffs for unruly passengers
- Air India has decided to introduce handcuffs for unruly passengers on its domestic flights; the decision comes amidst rising misbehaviour on flights.
- AI had restrainers only on international routes; however, now 2 restrainers will be available aboard all domestic flights as well.
- Air India chief Ashwani Lohani backed the decision saying, "the safety of passengers and aircraft is paramount."
Air India calls FlighStats report is fabricated
- Air India stated that the recent FlightStats report that ranked Air India the third worst performing airline in the world is fabricated.
- Air India's spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said "it seems that the report is fabricated, so AI management will investigate the report till the end."
- He also clarified that, "we totally disagree with the report published by FlightStats about AI."
Air India to reserve seats for women on domestic flights
- From January 18, Air India will reserve 6 seats for women in the third row of all its aircraft; the move is for safety of women passengers travelling alone.
- Air India revenue management GM, Meenakshi Malik said "as national carriers, it is our responsibility to enhance comfort level to female passengers."
- Air Passengers Association of India criticized the move saying it promoted gender inequality.
Delivery of new planes to Air India delayed
- Delivery of 2 Airbus A320 Neo planes to Air India have been delayed by a month reportedly due to engine issues.
- Fuel-efficient A320s are being inducted to expand Air India's capacity for the domestic market which has been consistently growing at 20% for several months now.
- Air India also plans to double its fleet by leasing 100 aircraft over the next 4 years.