Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The Indigo Story: Shelley Vishwajeet

It may surprise many bit India has had a long and cherished tradition of aviation entrepreneurship. The first airmail service in 1911 was demonstrated in India.

On 18 February 1911, a French pilot Monseigneur Piguet took off on a Humber plane Allahabad to Naini carrying 6500 mails.

By 1915, Tata sons had started a weekly mail service between Karachi and Madras. In 1924, the construction of the Dum Dum airport began followed by Allahabad and Mumbai.

Neville Vincent, a South African aviator and JRD Tata started Tata Airlines in 1932 on a profit-sharing basis, where one-third of the profit went to Neville and all investment was from Tata Sons.

Tata Airlines was renamed Air India in 1946. JRD Tata was offered the chairmanship which he accepted and was Chairman till 1977, despite opposition from his family.

Many Indians were involved with the early development of aviation in India- Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur, Grant Govan, Seth Walchand Hirachand Joshi, Mirza Ahmed Ispahani, and Biju Patnaik.

Biju Patnaik started off as a private pilot, joined the royal air force in world war 2. His glorious mission came as an aviator when he rescued two Indonesian independence leaders – Sukarno and Sujat Sjahrir, who later became the first president and prime minister of Indonesia.
08/01/19 D. Shivakumar/Business World

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