Tata introduces 'enhanced meal service' on Air India flights
As Air India finally returns to the Tatas after 69 years, the group has taken its first step in the takeover by introducing an "enhanced meal service" on four flights departing from Mumbai, officials told news agency PTI. According to reports, after the transfer of ownership, there will be massive changes in the front-line staff who will interact with the passengers.
Why does it matter?
- Air India returned to its creator Tata Group after the flagship carrier was nationalized by the government in 1953.
- Since 2003-2004, this is the first privatization of an airline.
- Following the takeover, Air India will be the third airline brand for the Tata group, and it will claim the second spot in the domestic market after IndiGo.
'Change in image, attitude, perception'
The next seven days are important as we'll be changing our image, attitude, and perception, read an email sent to cabin crew members. Sandeep Verma and Megha Singhania, who will lead the in-flight service, told The Times of India that there will be changes in the (in-flight) announcement, which will have a special audio address by Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata.
Tata enhances the onboard meal service
An "enhanced meal service" was provided in four flights-- AI639 (Mumbai-Bengaluru), AI687 (Mumbai-Delhi), AI864 (Mumbai-Delhi), and AI945 (Mumbai-Abu Dhabi), scheduled for January 27. The service will also be provided on the AI191 (Mumbai-Newark) flight and five Mumbai-Delhi flights on Friday. According to the officials, the food service would be expanded to other flights in a planned and regulated manner.
Tata Group yet to apply for a license
As per reports, the Tatas are yet to approach the regulator for a license (airline operating permit) for their airline. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has the authority under the Aircraft Act to allow the group to operate airlines in the interim period till they decide on the shape of their aviation vertical.
What was the deal?
The government sold 100% equity shares of Air India and Air India Express to Talace Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, for Rs. 18,000 crore in October 2021. The company will also receive 50% stake in ground-handling company Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS). Notably, Tata already holds a majority stake in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.