Tata Chief: Air India will be Made World-Class

Feb. 17, 2022

Feb. 17—The goal is to make Air India the world class airline it deserves to be, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran told employees of the newly acquired carrier during a virtual staff address on Wednesday.

Chandrasekaran's took over the airline on January 27 after the long-awaited disinvestment of India's national carrier, which began its life in what is now Tata Sons. In recent years, the airline reeled under losses, surviving on bailouts by the government,

The Tata Sons chairman promised employees the group will make the airline financially fit and set off on a path of technological upgrades. "We have very big dreams for Air India (AI). We want to be best in class customer service, we want AI to be the most technologically advanced airline in the world. We will upgrade all our aircraft, bring in new fleet and expand our outreach both domestically and internationally. We will ensure that our hospitality both in-flight and off flight is the best that any airline can provide," he said.

He stressed on the importance of on-time performance and said seamless bookings, airport and lounge experiences and good customer experience will be key to winning over passengers.

"We have to focus on complaint handling. Above all, safety of all our passengers and our employees is of paramount importance," he said.

The airline will focus on customer service, upgrade the fleet, invest in new aircraft and expand the network to achieve its goals. "We want Air India to be a world class airline as it deserves to be and best in customer service. We want Air India to be the most technologically advanced airline in the world," Chandrasekaran said.

Currently, Air India and Air India Express have a fleet of 141 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

"At the Tata group, we are fortunate to have several iconic brands like Taj Hotels, Tanishq, Tata Salt and Jaguar Land Rover. With many consumer-facing companies, we are fortunate to touch the lives of 60 crore (600 million) Indians. Now, with Air India joining, we have the opportunity to become a brand that represents aspirations of 130 crore (1.3 billion) Indians," he added.

The ministry of finance on Wednesday issued a circular modifying travel by Air India on government account through three authorised agencies, that is Balmer & Lawrie, IRCTC and Ashok Travels Several.

The circular read, '...several references have been received in this department seeking clarification regarding booking of air tickets for domestic and international travel by private airlines in view of the disinvestment of Air India. It is clarified that the air travel on government account both Domestic (including LTC) and International travel can be made by private airlines; tickets shall be purchased only through the above three ( Balmer & Lawrie, IRCTC and Ashok Travels Several) authorised agents.

On November 2, the department of investment and public asset management secretary Tuhin Kanta Panda said it would no longer be mandatory for government employees to travel by Air India after its privatization. Air India, too, stopped offering ministries credit for the purchase of air tickets.

Balmer Lawrie, (a company under the petroleum ministry) provides logistics support and a host of other business while Ashoka Travels and Tours Ltd is a subsidiary of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and IRCTC operates a travel portal, provides ticket booking and catering for Indian railways.


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