The transformation happening at Air India - from a once government-owned airline to a privately-owned entity under the Tata Group - is receiving a huge contribution from the group companies, including Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover, the airline’s CEO Campbell Wilson said.

Tata Consultancy Services is helping the airline in service training; Tata Communications with connectivity; and Tata Elxsi in the design of customer touch-points and other heritage and safety centres, he told presspersons of the Hindu Group during a visit to Chennai.

Tata Realty is helping Air India with the new training academy and consolidation of land requirements. Tata Technologies is helping with 3D modelling and design of spare parts that cannot be procured on the market because they are obsolete. “We can manufacture spare parts to keep existing seats workable until we can replace them,” he said.

People from Tata Motors are sharing with the airline how they run procurement, said Wilson. “That’s a real core skill of theirs, and a need that the airline has. We are learning from them how to really run a tight ship on procurement,” he said.

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“We have talked to Jaguar Land Rover about how they design interiors of luxury cars. This is something we can learn from them on how to do engineering or a seat or finishing. We are very fortunate to be part of the Tata Group because it gives us experts we can talk to, and a pool of companies that have a shared interest in our success,” said Wilson.

“The good news is that our 470-aircraft order has generated much excitement and given component and engine manufacturers an impetus to think more seriously about the opportunity in India and potentially partner with Tata companies to help catalyse the whole ecosystem here,” said Wilson.