Air India unveils Vihaan – a comprehensive 5 year transformation plan

AIR INDIA

Tata Group’s Air India has unveiled a comprehensive transformation plan focusing on five-key pillars — customer service, operations, tech, reliability, and hospitality — to increase its domestic market share to 30% in the next five years.

The airline also plans to increase its international markets share and put it on a path to sustained growth, profitability, and market leadership. Air India is also adopting proactive maintenance and refining flight schedules to enhance on-time performance.

Air India has named the revival plan as “Vihaan.AI”, which in Sanskrit signifies the dawn of a new era, with identified objectives for Air India over the next five years. The plan has been unveiled a month before the 90th anniversary of Air India (previously Tata Airlines) founder J R D Tata piloting the first flight of the airline that would become Air India.

AIR INDIA
Air India unveiled Vihaan.AI – a comprehensive transformation plan for the next 5 years

Air India says the aim is by 2027 to emerge as a “world-class global airline with an Indian heart – the absolute best in class in customer service, in technology, in the product, in reliability and inspitality.”

Over the next five years, Air India will strive to increase its market share to at least 30% in the domestic market while significantly growing the international routes from the present market share.

Along with two other Tata airlines—AirAsia India and Vistara—the group’s cumulative domestic market share is already over 20%. Air Asia India and Vistara have a share of 4.6% and 10.4%, respectively.

Over the coming days and weeks, the management team will engage employees across regions, departments, and locations through a series of physical and hybrid sessions.

Along with two other Tata airlines—AirAsia India and Vistara—the group’s cumulative domestic market share is already over 20%.

As part of Vihaan.AI’s transformational plan, it has prepared a detailed roadmap with clear milestones focusing on dramatically growing both its network and fleet, developing a completely revamped customer proposition, improving reliability and on-time performance, and taking a leadership position in technology, sustainability, and innovation, while aggressively investing behind the best industry talent.

While the immediate focus of the airline remains on fixing the basics and readying itself for growth (Taxiing Phase), the more medium-to-long term focus will be on building for excellence and establishing scale to become a global industry leader (Take Off & Climb phases).

“This is the beginning of a historic transformation for Air India, and the dawn of a new era. We are laying the foundation for a brave new Air India, with a renewed sense of purpose and incredible momentum. Vihaan.AI is our transformation plan to make Air India the world class airline it once was, and that it deserves to be again. We are absolutely focussed on being recognized as a world-class airline serving global customers, with a proudly Indian heart.

The transformation has already started – a slew of initiatives in areas like refurbishing cabins, serviceable seats, in-flight entertainment systems are already underway. We are also adopting proactive maintenance and refining flight schedules to enhance on-time performance. Our fleet expansion will involve a combination of both narrow-bodied and wide-bodied aircrafts to cater to varied network needs. The excitement and shared commitment to drive Vihaan.ai is palpable across the organisation and stakeholders will recognise the changes as the new face of Air India emerges.”

Campbell Wilson, CEO, Air India

ALSO READ – Air India to revamp its fleet by leasing 30 aircraft in the upcoming months

Recently, Air India announced an aggressive expansion plan with the induction of six Boeing 777-200 aircraft and 25 Airbus A320 Neos by the first quarter of next year. These aircraft will result in Air India offering premium economy haul flights for the first time. These aircraft, which will enter service in late 2022, will increase its fleet by over 25%.

ALSO READ – Airbus, Boeing compete to get Air India’s deal

AIR INDIA
The Tata group is also negotiating a deal for around 200 narrowbody and widebody jets from Airbus and Boeing.

ALSO READ – Air India prepares to add more than 200 aircraft; the most significant order in a long time

The Tata group is also negotiating a deal for around 200 narrowbody and widebody jets from Airbus and Boeing.

ALSO READ – Air India gets CCI’s approval to acquire the entire stake in AirAsia India

The Tata group has already received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to merge AirAsia India with Air India. 

In July, Air India had a market share of 8.4% in the domestic market.

ALSO READ – The merger of Air India-Vistara to have clarity soon

Tata group and joint venture partner Singapore Airlines are discussing the road map for Vistara, but no decision has been taken yet on a merger with Air India. A Singapore Airlines spokesperson said: “We do not comment on any confidential discussions that we may or may not be having with our partners.”

ALSO READ – Tata Sons to raise USD 4 billion to infuse fresh capital into Air India

The Tata Group is also planning to raise USD 4 billion to infuse fresh capital into Air India and refinance costly debt. In July, Air India had a market share of 8.4% in the domestic market.

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