The national carrier Air India was bought by the Tata group by making a competitive bid of Rs 18,000 crore. ‘Maharaja’ will return home after 69 years with this handover.
Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran has reached Delhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of Air India’s return to to the founder group. The Tatas have hit the ground running to restore the Maharaja’s lost sheen. The focus is on improving on time performance (OTP). not exactly the Maharaja’s strong point with aircraft door closing 10 minutes before departure time.
Air India was the brainchild of legendary industrialist and philanthropist JRD Tata, who was also India’s first licensed pilot. His fascination quickly turned into a plan to form India’s first commercial airline.
He established then called Tata Airlines in 1932, and its first scheduled service operated on Karachi-Ahmedabad-Bombay route on a de Havilland Puss Moth aircraft flown by JRD Tata.
In 1938, the airline expanded internationally for the first time. The carrier added Colombo, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to its route map in addition to the dozen or so destinations in India.
What immediate changes with Tatas’ takeover:
As per reports, the carrier has already started bringing in minor changes, such as cabin crew BMI and grooming to be checked when they report for flights. As reported previously, the unions have opposed this measure.
Also, Air India announced on Thursday that it will be enhancing its in-flight service in first and business class.
A PTI news report said that enhanced meal service will be available on four flights on Thursday. Moreover, the airline management is also looking at upgraded service procedures. Trolley service for liquor and newspapers, which was discontinued due to COVID-19 pandemic, is being brought back.
A Business Standard report said that the airline is also expected to back certain amenities and services which were discontinued due to the pandemic. This includes duvets, blankets and pillows. Linen and hot towels too would be carried on board as was the practice earlier.
While this is all short-term, it is unsure how things will progress in the long term. However, there are reports that the group may look at merging all its airline businesses, allowing it to eliminate additional expenditure and generally more revenue.
With inputs from agencies.