Air India spreads its wings to soar high

P P Singh,Regional Manager — Gulf, Middle East and Africa,Air India and Air India Express
P P Singh,Regional Manager — Gulf, Middle East and Africa,Air India and Air India Express

The company has ambitious plans when it comes to Gulf operations, which is a major business destination for India’s leading airline.

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Published: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 12:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 12:25 PM

Air India had pioneered India’s aviation sector and the airline’s history is, in fact, synonymous with the annals of civil aviation in India. Air India’s international connectivity, spanning cities in the Gulf, Europe, USA, UK, Africa, Asia, the Far East and Australia, was strengthened after joining Star Alliance — the largest global air consortium — in July 2014. The airline also covers every remote corner of our country. It has always stood by the nation and its people during the hour of need and has played a key role in evacuation missions from crisis-torn areas.

On January 27, 2022, Air India has been welcomed back to the Tata Group and is poised to soar high — redefining its goals and approach with focus on overall excellence and customer-centric processes. Since this transfer of control, the airline has emphasised on global expansion and improving the services at existing destinations.

P P Singh, Regional Manager — Gulf, Middle East and Africa, Air India and Air India Express, said: “The company has ambitious plans when it comes to Gulf operations, which is a major business destination for India’s leading airline. As a recognition for the trust it enjoys in the Gulf, Air India has been coming up with special offers. For instance, under the unique initiative ‘One India One Fare’, it is offering attractive one-way fares on all direct flights to India from all Gulf countries during the ongoing 75th Anniversary of Independence Day celebration. This is a great initiative launched at a time when Indians want to celebrate the occasion with their loved ones while fondly remembering the heroes of the freedom struggle.”

Owing to its high on-time performance, best cuisine and hospitality, the carrier enjoys the status of one of the most trusted airlines in the UAE. It operates 83 flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi to nine destinations in India — Delhi, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Cochin, Hyderabad, Chennai, Goa, Bangalore, and Indore. It provides 35 Dreamliners per week out of Dubai to Delhi, Mumbai and Cochin. With effect from November 1, 2022, Air India is adding Kolkata as 10th destination from Dubai.

The airline also operates from 32 flights from Oman, 38 from Saudi Arabia, four from Bahrain, 14 from Kuwait and 29 from Qatar in the Gulf. It runs 165 flights to the Gulf and offers around 33,000+ seats per week. The UAE contributes 50 per cent in terms of flights operating in the region and 56 per cent in terms of seats.

Simultaneously, Air India Express (AIX), Air India’s low-cost carrier, provides its services in the Gulf. It operates 277 flights in the region and offers 51,000+ seats per week from the UAE (173), Oman (32), Saudi Arabia (23), Bahrain (9), Kuwait (11) and Qatar (29). Air India and Air India Express together are the second largest air service provider from the UAE to India.

To further spread its global operations, the airline has focused on improving safety, upgrading technology, guaranteeing cleanliness, accomplishing a high on-time performance rate, and acquiring new narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. It is also working round the clock to make more aircraft fit to fly to ensure smooth operations and also improve on every customer interface area.

On the operations’ front, Air India has significantly improved its on-time performance (OTP) figures in the last few months. According to DGCA, the OTP rate of the airline has crossed the 90 percent mark. Consequently, it has witnessed impressive improvements in passenger load factor (PLF) — a critical measure of capacity utilisation. From February to June, it registered an astounding 80 percent load factor on domestic flights as compared to 60 percent during the same period last year.

In a nutshell, the airline is tirelessly working to introduce impactful changes in its operations to benefit consumers. With state-of-the-art consumer services, technological advancements, and global expansion, it aims to combine Air India’s rich legacy with Tatas’ trust and professionalism and emerge as a preferred airline, not just in India but globally.

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