Smartly dressed crew, better meals, timely flights: Tata's grand Air India plans

Tata Group has many pressing issues to address for Air India, right from the food quality to better quality planes and a improved on-time performance.

Smartly dressed crew, better meals, timely flights: Tata's grand Air India plans

The journey that started in 1932 as Tata Airlines has finally come to a full circle with homegrown conglomerate Tata Group acquiring 100 percent stake in Air India from the Government of India under PM Modi's vision of privatization. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (JRD) Tata founded the airline in 1932 and in 1946, the aviation division of Tata Sons was listed as Air India. 

In 1953, Air India was nationalised and was split into two - a domestic airline and an international carrier. When the Jawaharlal Nehru nationalised Air India, JRD fought vehemently against it. "From the first airmail service flight from Karachi to Bombay in October 1932 with JRD steering a Puss Moth aircraft to wresting control of Air India 89 years later, the conglomerate has had a roller coaster ride in the Indian civil aviation history," writes a news agency.

But that's the thing of the past, as all eyes are on Tata Group to change the fortunes of the Air India, often been mocked in international circuits for various reasons. Tata has many pressing issues to address, right from the food quality to better quality planes and a better on-time performance, all of which made Air India, the erstwhile national air carrier as a laughing stock. 

Also read: Air India handed over to Tata Group, Maharaja comes home after 69 years

With Tata Group also running Vistara as a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, the stakes becomes even higher. In a short time, Vistata has carved a niche for itself as a premium airline service industry best food, new aircrafts, technologies like Wi-Fi and smartly dressed cabin crew. People are now drawing parallels between Air India and Vistara, both now part of Tata Group, along with Air Asia India.

So what's the changes one can expect in the immediate run? Sources privy to the development confirm that Tata Group has already started to implement changes to Air India's flights, elevating passenger experience. Here are few of the changes that Tata is planning to implement in coming days, or has already implemented  -

Smart and well-groomed cabin crew members

The crew members will have to be smartly dressed and well-groomed, and there will be grooming executives who will be conducting checks at the airports.

Better on-time performance of flights

Since on-time performance is extremely important, all endeavours will have to be made by the crew members to ensure that the doors are closed 10 minutes before the flight's departure.

Calling passengers as "guests"

The employees have been told by the Tata Group that there will be a change in "image, attitude and perception" of Air India, they said. Cabin crew members have been instructed to address all passengers as "guests" and cabin crew supervisor will have to ensure safety and service standards provided to the guests, they noted.

Enhanced in-flight meal service

Enhanced meal service will be provided to passengers in select flights in the initial days post the takeover. This enhanced meal service will be expanded to passengers in all Air India flights in a phased manner. The "enhanced meal service" was provided on four flights -- AI864 (Mumbai-Delhi), AI687 (Mumbai-Delhi), AI945 (Mumbai-Abu Dhabi) and AI639 (Mumbai-Bengaluru). The "enhanced meal service" will be served on Mumbai-Newark flight and five Mumbai-Delhi flights on Friday.

Consolidated network

Air India is the India's biggest international airliner and now has over 200 aircraft and over 80 domestic and international destinations. The group now has two full-service carriers -- Vistara and Air India -- along with two low-cost airlines -- Air India Express and AirAsia India -- and a ground and cargo handling company, AISATS. According to sources, it plans to pilot synergies between all its airlines to compete in various market segments.

With inputs from agencies

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