Air India might usher in added elegance with new aircraft

The Tata Group is likely to add new age planes to the Air India fleet, and has reportedly initiated parleys with Boeing and Airbus

The Tatas after having pocketed national carrier Air India has seen roadblocks in its smooth operations. And the most significant among them is the aging fleet in its portfolio.   The Indian conglomerate had regained ownership of the airline after 70 years, and is now looking to make it a profitable venture through some well charted out plans.

With an aging fleet in its fold, Air India might have to go the extra mile to make its financial look better in the coming years. Betterment of services by ushering in a bunch of new age aircraft would be the first thing the airline would want to do.

Tata Group executives have already set the ball rolling on that front by meeting with aircraft manufacturers Boeing Co and Airbus SE. The meetings are believed to have been aimed at new purchases of planes so as to spruce up the fleet. A report said that the Tata Group has in recent weeks discussed future plane orders for Air India with Boeing and Airbus.

Air India would look at more planes

The current scenario at the Air India hangars may not be so encouraging. The airliner has around 140 planes bought from the two plane makers. If the Tatas would want to refurbish the aging fleet, it would have to part with more than $1 billion, the report added.

Anyone who knows Tatas’ spirit in getting things done in an immaculate manner would agree that the group would line up an excellent new-gen fleet in the coming days. We hear that India’s business behemoth has already held parleys with the two large airplane manufacturers and might soon place orders for jets including Airbus A350-900s and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Plans to make Air India fly high

The airline business is not something that the Tatas are ignorant of. Starting from the Air India of the JRD Tata era, the conglomerate has dabbled in this vertical with a great amount of success. Apart from Air India, the Tata Group operates two other airline services. While Vistara, is a joint venture it has with Singapore Airlines, AirAsia India is operated in partnership with the AirAsia Group.

Before and post nationalisation in 1953, Air India continued to stay on top of India’s travel itineraries, but by year 2000 and later, financial hurdles created airpockets for the airline. Ever since, services have dwindled and fell in terms of quality.

Now with Air India back under the Tata umbrella, the group has much plans to make it the best. More aircraft, enhancement of services and more money pumped in for betterment of service quality would be what the conglomerate would look at.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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