Written byGogona Saikia
The debt-ridden Air India is putting its flights through a major makeover, in an attempt to lure passengers and boost business.
Among the many changes is the modified 'Maharaja' Business Class on international flights. For this, the existing First Class and Business Class seats on its its Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft will be revamped.
This comes weeks after its stake sale fell flat.
The makeover includes a complete overhaul with an all-new look, officials said. The ambience will be upgraded, the food and beverage menu diversified, and crew uniforms modified with a subtle western touch.
Interior décor will be changed with new seats and upholstery. Night kits would also sport a new look.
Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and his deputy Jayant Sinha will unveil the new look today.
The aim of the move is to make the airline "more customer-focused with enviable service," officials said.
The carrier is also expecting it to attract more passengers, especially on its international routes, and thus boost revenue.
Luckily, there will no ticket price hike attached to this move. Air India is utilizing funds from its Rs. 30,000cr bailout package announced in 2012.
Currently, Air India, which has over 2,500 international prime-time slots per week across 43 overseas destinations, commands 17% market share on international routes.
Meanwhile, the government has suspended the disinvestment of Air India, after it received no interest from potential investors.
It will continue to fund operations for now.
Air India is reeling under debts worth $5.1bn. The government announced a 76% stake sale, but the condition was that the buyer would have to take over liabilities and pay off loans.
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