Air India, backed by Tata Group, is making significant strides in exploring collaboration opportunities with tech giant Apple and Stanford University.

The airline’s CEO, Campbell Wilson, recently led a delegation, including Dr. Satya Ramaswamy and other colleagues, on a visit to Apple’s headquarters in Palo Alto, USA. The aim of the visit was to explore potential areas of deeper collaboration between the two industry leaders.

Tech prowess

In an internal post to Air India’s employees, Wilson expressed enthusiasm about the visit to Apple’s headquarters in the US, where they engaged in discussions to foster closer ties. The airline is keen on leveraging Apple’s technological prowess to enhance its operations and customer experience.

Moreover, Wilson’s visit to Stanford University provided an opportunity to discuss the latest advancements in inventory and pricing optimisation, as well as improved engine and emissions performance. By staying at the forefront of technological innovations, Air India aims to drive efficiency and sustainability in the aviation sector.

He said that discussions revolved around “some of the most advanced thinking in areas such as inventory and pricing optimisation, improved engine and emissions performance, and other cutting-edge topics.”

To foster open communication and ensure employee satisfaction, Air India announced the upcoming launch of a quarterly pulse check. This initiative will enable the airline to understand and address the suggestions and concerns of its workforce, further strengthening the company’s internal dynamics.

In addition to exploring collaborations, Air India has received a letter of type acceptance from the Indian civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, for its Rolls Royce-powered A350s. As a result, the airline is preparing for the induction of these wide-body aircraft into its fleet.

Expansion plan

The expansion plan for Air India’s fleet is ambitious, with a target to acquire six new Airbus A350s, five leased Boeing B777-LRs, and nine other Boeing B777-ERs by the end of the current financial year in March 2024. This endeavour will boost the widebody fleet size by an impressive 30 per cent within just one year.

The airline is committed to modernising its passenger experience by equipping around a third of the total widebody fleet with modern seats and inflight entertainment systems. Simultaneously, the remaining aircraft will undergo a comprehensive $400 million interior refit to ensure a consistently high standard of comfort and amenities across all flights.

In another significant development, Air India finalised an agreement with US-based engine manufacturer CFM for the supply of 800 engines. This strategic move emphasises the airline’s commitment to fleet modernisation and operational efficiency.