Campbell Wilson is optimistic about the future of the Indian flag carrier.

Boeing_and_Air_India Graphic of Boeing Jetliners over Mountains
Graphic: Boeing

Air India CEO Campbell Wilson is feeling optimistic about his efforts to restore the airline to its former glory. The chief executive recently outlined a series of efforts that are aimed at helping the Indian flag carrier get back on its feet. Let’s take a closer look.

Newly privatized

Air India returned to private ownership for the first time in nearly 70 years early last year when it was acquired by Tata Sons for $2.4 billion. Prior to that, the airline had been publicly owned by the government of India and was proving to be a drain on federal resources as it had failed to turn a profit in several years. When the carrier eventually reached the point where it was losing $2.6 million per day, the decision was made to sell it in the hopes that privatization might be able to turn it around.

One of the biggest turnaround efforts in aviation history

Photo: Pradeep Thomas Thundiyil | Shutterstock

With the financial backing of its new parent company, the airline commenced a five-year effort to rebuild itself. Codenamed Vihaan.AI, the effort was aimed at modernizing the carrier’s outdated fleet and IT infrastructure.

Last month, Air India announced a historically large order for 470 Airbus and Boeing planes–one of the biggest in aviation history. The Airbus component of the order included 210 A320neos and 40 A350s, while the Boeing component was comprised of 190 737 MAXs, 20 787s, and 10 777Xs.

In addition, the airline made good on its promise to invest in its IT processes, including new in-flight entertainment systems for existing planes in its fleet. According to Wilson, the last time that Air India hired someone to work in IT prior to its acquisition was in 2007.

The Tata group is also currently in the process of obtaining regulatory approval to merge Vistara into Air India. If the merger goes through, then Singapore Airlines (which operates Vistara alongside Tata) would invest $250 million into Air India in exchange for a 25.1% stake in the airline.

Expanding into the Gulf

DXB emirates aircraft

Photo: Dubai International Airport

Part of Air India’s turnaround strategy includes an increase in flights to the Persian Gulf, through which people of Indian origin will often fly back to India. Wilson has indicated that he would like to see Air India triple the number of passengers that it carries from Gulf hubs, including Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Qatar. But whether or not such an ambitious goal can be attained is something that remains to be seen.

With regard to the turnaround effort, Wilson told Financial Times,

“It’s certainly the biggest aviation turnaround, I think, that I am ever aware of… I don’t think there is anything that has ever been attempted like this before”

What do you think of Air India’s turnaround effort? Do you think that the carrier is on track to becoming a major international airline? Let us know in the comment section.

Source: Financial Times


Napsat komentář

Vaše e-mailová adresa nebude zveřejněna.

You May Also Like

Airbus Helicopters Posts Strong Medevac Order Intake

Airbus Helicopters announced continuing strong sales into the U.S. medical market at…

The Complex Art of Aircraft Utilization

DALLAS – Aircraft are the most important and valuable assets of an…

Why Don’t Planes Use Reverse Thrust To Push Back?

When a plane departs an airport, its first movement will be to…

Quiz: 6 Questions To See How Well You Know Aircraft Systems

How’s your systems knowledge? 1) You’re performing an engine run-up before takeoff.…