‘Historic aircraft order’ for Air India soon and ‘substantial investment, a gross understatement’: Wilson

NEW DELHI: Tata will soon place a “historic order” of the latest aircraft order for its oldest family member – Air India – back this January after nearly seven decades. Airline CEO-MD Campbell Wilson A glimpse into the works of the mega passenger-friendly maharaja was given on Saturday at an event organized by the JRD Tata Memorial Trust in Mumbai to mark the 118th birth anniversary of the father of Indian aviation and founder of AI.
Tata is working on a tech-tonic transformation for Air India over five years, with comfortable interiors and a large frequent flyer program with an extensive global network and a focus on safety and on-time performance to rebuild its loyal customer base By doing this a large fleet is being ensured. While they have announced the merger of Air India Express with AirAsia India to create a bigger budget arm for Maharaja, a similar announcement of merging Vistara with Air India to create a mega full service carrier is due any time now. hopefully. So an airline, AI, would have both a budget and a full service arm.
“This change, a new era has already begun. In the fleet, we have restored about 20 aircraft that were grounded for years due to lack of spares and lack of money (and cannibalized other aircraft to fly Final leases for an additional 30 aircraft being delivered over the next 12 months – from next week – with more in the final stages of negotiation,” Wilson said.
Air India is in intensive discussions with Boeing, Airbus and engine makers “for a historic order of the latest generation aircraft … at the risk of gross understatement, the investment will be substantial,” Wilson said.
He had good news for passengers who rightly complain about the poor interior of Air India’s aircraft, which was caused by lack of investment on maintenance or upkeep during the last few years of government ownership. “Short-term actions have been taken to replace carpets, curtains, seat cushions and covers. (Will) repair defective seats and inflight entertainment systems as fast as the supply chain will allow. And where parts are no longer available in the market We will work with people like Tata Technologies to design and manufacture components there. We recently completely redesigned the inflight menu.” Air India is getting five ex-Delta Boeing 777s this winter that will be deployed on US routes. These five aircraft will have premium economy.
“Beyond these immediate actions, we will be committing an enormous amount to improving the interiors of all wide-size aircraft, including seats and inflight entertainment systems, as soon as possible,” he said.
Air India has started expanding its network since Tata came to power with many aircraft that had been parked for years being made airworthy. International expansion has already been announced, including more flights to Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, London, San Francisco, New York and Newark. “This is just the beginning. There will be many more to come as we restore and acquire more aircraft. You will hear more details very soon,” Wilson said.
State-owned AI didn’t hire people except flight crew for about 15 years, until 2021 (early 2022. Tata reverted). Now it’s hiring to “fill the gap.” “Because of that (15-year) freeze, we are effectively missing two generations in our talent pipeline, and in some areas where technological change has been significant, our potential was completely underutilized. The enthusiasm is there. A recent advertisement for MBA graduates attracted 25,000 applicants in just 10 days. Cabin Crew has received over 62,000 applications in just a few months.
The biggest changes in contemporary aviation will take time. A stage-wise timeline is modeled like an aircraft which is slowly pushed back before starting to taxi on its own power and then reaches the runway where it accelerates to climb to great heights. The AI ​​is expected to reach takeoff speed by around 2027.
While the Tatas certainly inherited Air India in a very sorry state, where the government had made it clear that the airline would have to be shut down if it could not find a buyer, the airline that Wilson had founded and Well aware of JRD’s dream about the glory days. which lasted until the mid-1980s. Thanks to JRD’s personal attention, AI was acknowledged as one of the best airlines in the world.
“I have personal experience with this. Even in New Zealand, where I started my aviation career, my first boss started his career with AI. AI helped train the cabin crew of an airline that had I served for 26 years with (Singapore Airlines or SIA), which is today famous for its inflight service. And ads featuring the ‘Air India Girl’ predecessor, and apparently, some very famous airline brand campaigns (probably SIA’s referring to Singapore Girl),” Wilson said, adding, “Unfortunately, recent decades haven’t been so kind.”
But Air India’s bad memories may soon give way to a new future for passengers. What it will be like, Wilson described, quoting JRD’s famous lines: “I beg of you that when I am gone, those of you who are still there, always remember this: Nothing should ever be allowed to happen.” But best. By doing so, we will not only ensure our own development, growth and progress, but also ensure the prosperity of our people. In addition to serving our own interests, in the service of the airline, in the service of the country, we will remain true to the memory of those who have contributed to the building of this airline.

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