Air India’s second year under Tata has 500-aircraft order, Rs 3k-cr investment

New Delhi: As Air India completes its first year under the Tata Group, the airline management has listed plans for the second year that includes a ‘historic’ order of new aircraft and investments to improve the product on its long-haul international flights.
The plans were listed in a communication sent to employees by the airline’s CEO and MD Campbell Wilson, who also termed the past year’s achievements ‘stunning’.
“Taken together, the progress over the last 12 months has been nothing short of stunning, even if so much of what we have been working on has been behind the scenes, building platforms and capabilities so that our future ambitions can take flight. There is, of course, much more that needs to be done, and everyone – internally and externally – is hungry for us to do it,” said Wilson.
He also said Air India’s response to lapses should be different from others.
“As we step into year two of Air India 2.0, we acknowledge that in any project of scale, there will be challenges along the way. More than our successes, it is how we respond to our lapses -these that will define us,” the missive read. This is notable since the airline had to deal with considerable negative publicity due to an incident where a drunk man allegedly urinated on a woman passenger on a New York-Delhi flight. The airline’s CEO and its chairman N Chandrasekaran – also the chairman of the Tata Group – came out in public on the incident.
As part of Air India’s plan to become an airline of choice in India and internationally, the airline is to invest $400 million (Rs 3,300 crore) to refurbish its onboard product and place a historic order of 500 aircraft.
“Committed $400 million to refurbish the interiors of its entire wide-body fleet including latest generation seats and best-in-class inflight entertainment across all cabin classes… Finalising a historic order of new aircraft to power future growth,” said the infographics attached to the letter.
During the first year of its acquisition, Air India increased its operating aircraft by 27 per cent, which led to a 30 per cent increase in flight numbers, including a 63 per cent increase in weekly international flights.
The group has also announced plans to complete the merger of Air India Express with Air Asia India by this year and Vistara to merge with Air India by next year. —Agencies

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