What will the brand-new Tata Air India look like?

The Tata Group has begun the much-awaited makeover for the Maharaja with a welcome message from Air India pilots.

 |  3-minute read |   28-01-2022
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The Air India Maharaja is getting a makeover as the Tata Group takes over the operations and the management of India's flag carrier. But did the Maharaja manifest it himself because he was feeling left out? Watch a hilarious video here: 

A few weeks ago, I had to book a domestic air ticket and to be honest, booking an Air India flight was not my first choice. Over the years, Air India has slowly lost the domestic air market to flyers like Vistara (again, a Tata-Singapore Airlines collab). Then there were the low-cost carriers which did not have much to offer in terms of meal or leg space, but the costs were far lower than an average Air India flight on the same sector. Air India's domestic meals too were nothing to write home about. After all, the national carrier was struggling with crores worth of debts and a tussle over its status.

But today, when the news of Tatas finally having taken over the management and operations is here, there seems to be a sudden surprising relief. 

Tata Group takes over Air India. Illustration: SeemonTata Group takes over Air India. Illustration: Seemon

THE UPGRADE BEGINS 

The Tata Group already owns stakes in two airlines in India - Air Vistara and Air Asia India. Now, it seems like Air India will be getting an extensive makeover and a nice image upgrade after many years to pull it on par with other players in the Indian sky.

The Tata Group's takeover of all Air India flights began with a top-notch upgrade. 

THE CHANGES

1. The Air India flights starting today have begun with the pilots making announcements which resemble the ones by other commercial flights. This is what it sounds like: 

2. An immediate visible change would be the meal upgrades, as plans are being made do this in a phased way. Meals on flights between Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Abu Dhabi, Mumbai-Bengaluru, Mumbai-Newark, and Mumbai-London routes will be upgraded first. The meal upgrade is made by Taj SATS, the Taj Group-led airline catering service. Meanwhile, the airplane crew has been specifically instructed to use high ball and wine glasses to serve beverages to Business and First Class passengers.

Similarly, they have been told to use pre-set melamine cups for tea/coffee service in Economy class and porcelain cups in Business and First Classes.

3. Air India is also expecting an upgrade in dress code and a better customer service to impress fellow flyers across the globe. Newspapers and magazines will be offered to Business and First Class passengers before take-off and will be displayed in magazine racks in the Economy Class. 50 blankets/pillows will be reserved for use on demand by Economy Class passengers and passengers will be addressed as 'guests'. 

4. On-time performance and efficiency will become a value of Air India, which will be aligned with the other two airline companies owned by Tata. 

5. As Air India becomes a part of the Tata Group, we may hear the voice of the 84-year-old face Tata conglomerate, Ratan Tata, marking this historic transition. 

WHY IS IT A BIG DEAL?

The day is significant because though Air India was acquired in October 2021, the management and operations began today, which marks the full control of Air India by the Tatas after decades of government control. 

Also in sync with the celebration of Air India coming home, the Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP), a body of commercial pilots, has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to declare the anniversary of JRD Tata's first flight as National Aviation Day and name the next major airport in honour of JRD Tata, who was India's first commercial aviator. 

Now, the question remains:

The Tata Group now has to manage three airline companies in India. Each airline will fight for market share but with different ethos, cultures and prices. In the full carrier market, Air India's competition in India is Vistara, another airline from the Tata stable. How will Air India eke out its place in the Indian skies? Guess we will know soon.

Writer

Akshata Kamath Akshata Kamath @akshispublished

Akshata Kamath is a Digital Storyteller at DailyO. She loves to simplify Finance, Business, Healing and History.

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