As part of its five-year transformation plan, Air India announced on Thursday (April 6), that it has hired over 3,800 staff members across various functions, including crew, and introduced more than 29 new policies for its employees in the past six months.
Loss-making Air India, which is being piloted by the Tata Group since January last year, is putting in USD 200 million in information technology systems and is also committed to investing USD 400 million to completely refurbish existing aircraft.
It has also placed orders for 470 planes.
Also Read: Air India to temporarily reduce flights on some US routes: CEO
Taxi, the first phase of the transformation plan Vihaan.AI, that focussed on “addressing legacy issues of the airline at scale and laying the foundation for future growth” has concluded, the airline said and added that now the second phase Take Off, — that will focus on developing the platforms, processes and systems needed to build toward excellence — has commenced.
Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said the first six months of the transformation journey has made great strides in tackling many issues that had built up over the years and the airline has come a long way in establishing foundations for growth.
“Our record-setting aircraft order, the commitment of USD 400 million to completely refurbish existing aircraft, the investment of USD 200 million in new IT, and the recruitment of literally thousands of staff are but a few of the significant investments being made to restore Air India to the upper echelons of global aviation.
“As we move into our Take Off phase, we will start seeing these investments bear fruit,” he said in a release.
Also Read: Sky wars: How Akasa plans to take on Air India-IndiGo duopoly
The second phase will also witness the consolidation of AirAsia India and Air India Express, The Low Cost Carrier (LCC) entity has already merged their core reservations platforms, websites, and customer-facing systems.
“Vistara will also be merged with Air India following the grant of regulatory approval. The development of a world-class training academy will also take shape as also the future direction and configuration of the airlines line and base maintenance,” the release said.
Apart from launching premium economy seats for the first time on select long-haul flights, Air India has revamped its menus on international and domestic routes.
The airline also rolled out over 29 new policies across employees to improve welfare, designed new remuneration programs for legacy staff and “onboarded more than 3,800+ employees across crew and other functions to support capability and growth,” the release said.
Also Read: Indian airports’ revenues set to rise to $3.9bn next fiscal year
Besides, the airline expedited fleet expansion with 36 leased aircraft, including 11 wide-body planes being delivered in 2022-23, as well as “restored to service, or decommissioned pending sale, all long grounded aircraft”.
Air India attained highest-ever single-day passenger revenue, highest-ever cargo revenue, highest-ever ancillary revenue, and highest-ever load factor, the release said.
Comprehensive spares and support agreements have been reached to improve worldwide reliability and a performance improvement programme is underway with Boeing to improve the reliability of 787 planes.
“In-flight Entertainment (IFE) systems have been restored to working order on nearly all first and business-class seats, with economy seats being up to nearly 90 per cent,” Air India’s release said.
The airline has also reactivated more than 10 codeshare agreements and in active alliance discussions with other airlines.
(With agency inputs)