Sunday, March 13, 2022

N Chandrasekaran to resume Air India review today

New Delhi: In a sign of the priority the Tatas are giving to their latest acquisition — Air India, — group chairman N Chandrasekaran will personally review the Maharaja’s revival path over Monday and Tuesday at the airline’s HQ in Delhi. He is learnt to be taking detailed presentations from AI board members to finalise the roadmap, continuing from where he left off last week.

Outlining Tata’s vision for the airline they founded, Chandra has promised to make “AI the world class airline it deserves to be” and “absolutely best in class” in customer service, technology, fleet, network and “best possible hospitality both in flight and off flight.” All these will require a team of top notch experts.

But the formerly state-run airline’s wait to get an aviation veteran as CEO continues as former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci recently “declined” the position of AI MD & CEO. A new CEO — who is likely be finalised shortly — with a proven track record in aviation is expected to put in place a team of professionals.

With regular international flights starting from March 27, people will again have the option of taking one-stops via nearby hubs to fly between India and rest of the world. The bubble system in place from March 23, 2020, will March 26, 2022, meant less flights by foreign airlines.

DGCA data shows that in the last pre-pandemic quarter, October-December 2019, Indian carriers accounted for 39.2% of international travel to and from India while foreign carriers’ share was 60.8%. AI (11.5%) and AI Express (7.3%) share was 18.8%. On a standalone basis, IndiGo had the highest international market share.

The latest pandemic time DGCA is for July-September 2021 when Indian carriers’ share rose to 48.1% and foreign carriers’ fell to 51.9%. AI (14.5%) and AI Express’ (11.8%) combined share in this period rose by 40% to 26.3%. And on a standalone basis, AI had the highest international market share.

13/03/22 Times of India

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