Air India, which came under the Tata Group in January 2022, has shown significant progress over the past year in line with its ‘Vihaan.AI’ initiative.
Sources said the full-service carrier achieved highest daily revenue of ₹115 crore, marking a 26 per cent year-on-year increase as of August 23. Additionally, ancillary revenue saw notable growth, rising from ₹84 crore to ₹125 crore, a 48 per cent increase.
Despite a traditionally weak June quarter, the airline achieved an all-time high Passenger Load Factor (PLF) of 87.8 per cent in June 2023.
On September 15, 2022, Air India unveiled its five-year transformation plan, Vihaan.AI, centered around five key pillars: customer experience, robust operations, talent development, industry leadership and commercial efficiency. Initially addressing foundational issues, the airline is preparing for growth in the short-term (taxiing phase) and aiming for global industry leadership in the medium-to-long term (take off & climb phases).
In terms of human capital, Air India hired over 650 cockpit, 4,000 cabin crew and 1,600 ground staff. Compensation and contracts were revamped for over 7,500 flying staff and 5,000 ground staff.
With a commitment of $400 million for aircraft refurbishment, Air India has made notable improvements. First and Business Class in-flight entertainment has been restored to over 99 per cent, economy class to 90 per cent, and over 40 per cent of unserviceable seats on ‘WB’ aircraft have been repaired. The fleet restoration for B787 aircraft is nearing completion, said sources.
The airline announced an order for 470 aircraft, with 2 A321 neos and 6 B777 aircraft already inducted. It expanded its network to over 100 destinations, including six new international routes, and introduced new domestic fares. Interline agreements with Access Rail, Bangkok Air, and Vistara have strengthened its network.
Air India is further enhancing its in-house engineering facilities by leasing a new 57,000 sq. ft. engineering warehouse for spares management.
Historically, Air India faced challenges with refunds and legal matters. CEO and MD of Air India, Campbell Wilson, recently disclosed that the airline had 600 historical cases, with 150 already resolved, and over 1 million refunds issued until December 2022.
Looking ahead, Air India plans to introduce its first A350 with a new livery by the end of this year and continue its merger with Vistara.