Ashwini Phadnis

New Delhi, Aug. 8

INTERNATIONAL airlines take cover. A rejuvenated and strengthened Air India is making subtle changes in its trademark Centaur logo and the manner in which its name is spelt. Both the changes are being introduced after decades of status quo, officials said.

Now a passenger or agent searching for Air India will no longer have to go through several Web pages. To become more visible on the international Web and computerised reservation systems used by agents, the airline has decided to drop the hyphen between Air and India.

"The dropping of the hyphen means AI moves up in the alphabetical list of airlines and will be displayed much earlier in the computerised reservation systems and Web pages than before. This will lead to more visibility for the airline," a senior AI official said.

In addition, after decades of being in a titled position, the airlines' trademark Centaur logo has been readjusted to point upwards, showing the progressive growth the airline has made. The latest initiatives come even as AI has improved its ranking to the 48th position among 150 global airlines in terms of revenue generated and 16th in the Asia-Pacific region, ahead of Indian Airlines and Jet Airways. The survey was carried out by international agency Airline Business.

The airline has also initiated other steps to woo passengers. AI is expanding its services to all parts of the globe. In the recent past, it added flights to the US, the UK and restarted flights to Canada and Seoul. On the cards are flights to Mauritius and Australia, among other places.

Besides, AI is also spending extensively to provide more comforts to its passengers, including flat beds in the first class cabins and slumberette seats in the business class.

Air India has also submitted a plan to the Government to purchase 50 aircraft, the induction of which will help the airline launch long distance non-stop flights including those between India and the US.

Soon, travelling with AI will become a different experience not only in the air but also on the ground and possibly the Web world, officials said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 9, 2005)
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