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By the end of 2025, the airline intends to refurbish every vehicle in its fleet and forge a stronghold for low-cost travel on regional routes.In addition to its larger objective of rejuvenating the airline owned by the Tata group by modernizing its whole fleet by the end of 2025, Air India intends to forge a low-cost stronghold in local routes, according to CEO Campbell Wilson.

We are adamant that we are at the ideal location to provide comprehensive service for international long- and medium-haul travel. We have Air India Express, which will provide the majority of our domestic flights as well as certain short-haul international flights, because it is fairly obvious that the local market is best suited for low-cost carriers, Wilson said in an interview on Monday. “However, Air India Express will unquestionably take a low-cost position. Business-class seats won’t be installed in the aircraft, he continued.

In January 2022, the Tata group purchased Air India and its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express as part of a government-led strategic divestment initiative. A merger between Air India and Vistara as well as between Air India Express and AirAsia India was announced by the Tata group later that year. The two mergers are now taking place.

“There will be a full-service presence on routes that we believe have substantial international connectivity as well as on metro-to-metro lines. But it’s obvious that the market favors indigenous low-cost goods the most. Thus, the majority of our domestic operations would be carried out by Air India Express, Wilson continued.

In order to achieve this, the airline intends to rehabilitate its aging fleet of more than 100 aircraft and induct the majority of the 400 narrow-body aircraft from its current orders under the Air India Express name. By 2025, the airline plans to upgrade 40 wide-body Boeing B777 and B787-8 aircraft for a total of $400 million.

We have increased the availability of the in-flight entertainment system in first class and business class to over 99%. Unfortunately, the in-flight entertainment system and seats were both about as outdated as the iPhone. So, until the aircraft can be retrofitted, which will begin around July or August of next year, we’re doing all we can to keep things operational, according to Wilson.

While placing a February order for 470 aircraft, including 70 wide-body models, Air India also expects to lease 36 aircraft, with 21 of those joining the airline’s fleet by May. In addition, the airline anticipates putting six leased Boeing 777s and six leased Airbus A350s into service by March 2024 from its 470-aircraft order. These planes will primarily fly to North America and Europe.

The Competition Commission of India just approved the merger of Vistara and Air India, and it is anticipated to be finished by the end of March.

“We’re not in a rush to change the Vistara brand,” We’ll keep pushing for improvement until Air India is on par with or surpasses Vistara. After that, we may make a decision based on what the general public thinks of the individual airlines and how we can merge them, Wilson added.

Source- Livemint
Link- https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/new-air-india-by-2025-end-ceo-campbell-wilson-11695665544350.html


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