Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrashekharan Vows Air India Revival: Primed For Major Overhaul

By Staff Correspondent

Air India, the beleaguered national carrier, is primed for an extensive overhaul, with Tata Sons, its new owner, signalling a commitment to business profitability and a broader national mission. This commitment comes on the back of a landmark deal in January 2022 when Tata Sons acquired the airline from the government.

Speaking at an unveiling event in New Delhi on 10 August 2023, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran outlined an ambitious transformation agenda, revealing a new livery and logo, among other modernising initiatives. In a sign of the commitment to technology and innovation, he stressed that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning would play a central role in the revitalisation of the airline.

“This is not merely a business venture for us,” emphasised N Chandrasekaran. “Air India represents a passion, a big national mission. We have been at work for the last 15 months, and our vision is to make this airline world-class in terms of modernity, safety, and exceptional customer service.”

Tata’s stewardship has been marked by substantial investment, with one of the largest fleet orders placed. Though it will take time to complete the fleet renewal, interim steps include refurbishing the existing fleet to a standard that aligns with the group’s ambitions.

N Chandrasekaran’s comments are critical for the carrier, which has been mired in financial difficulties for years. The pledge to deploy the latest in AI and machine learning indicates Tata’s desire to position Air India at the technological forefront of the industry.

Tata’s acquisition of Air India and the subsequent modernisation efforts align with a broader narrative of a resurgent India. N Chandrasekaran stated, “Our vision for the airline is also in the backdrop of a new, resurgent India, where the aspiration of everyone is limitless.”

But challenges lie ahead. The Tata Group Chairman candidly acknowledged receiving compliments and criticisms via email, though he noted a caring concern in even the most critical messages. “Our commitment is only getting stronger every day,” he concluded.

The bold transformation activity marks a turning point for Air India, with its new ownership keen to steer the loss-making airline into a modern, successful air carrier. Its success or failure could have far-reaching implications for India’s aviation industry and the broader economic narrative in a nation aspiring to global leadership in technology and innovation.

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