Air India’s chief executive officer and managing director Campbell Wilson on Saturday said that the airline will increase its market share to at least 30 per cent on domestic and international routes, reported the news agency PTI. Addressing an event at JRD Tata Memorial Trust, Wilson said that there are opportunities for India and Air India to become major players in world aviation within the next decade.
As Tata group-owned airline works to expand its market share, the airline CEO said that Air India will be introducing premium economy class in some of its long-haul international flights from next month.
He said that Air India is implementing a long-term revival plan and over the next five years, it aims to grow its wide-body and narrow-body fleet as well as expand the global network. “The short-term actions have been to replace carpets, curtains, seat cushions, and covers. To fix defective seats and inflight entertainment systems as fast as supply chains will allow. And where parts are no longer available in the market, to work with the likes of Tata Technologies to design and manufacture parts ourselves. We’ve recently completely revamped the domestic inflight menu, and will be doing likewise, as well as launching premium economy on certain long-haul international flights next month,” he said, reported PTI.
According to Campbell, the airline has also finalised leases for 30 additional aircraft being delivered over the next 12 months, starting next week and more are in the final stages of negotiation. “Beyond these short-term additions, we are in deep discussion with Boeing, Airbus and engine manufacturers for a historic order of the latest-generation aircraft that will power Air India’s medium and long-term growth. At the risk of gross understatement, the investment will be substantial,” he said.
“For the subsequent year we’ll start the take-off run, building for excellence and attracting those who may not have considered Air India before, and by April 2024 or thereabouts, we will leverage the work done in the earlier phases to climb rapidly so that by 2027 we have scaled the heights of our aspiration,” he added. He emphasised that the airline no longer has financial or any other constraints and will need “patience, fortitude, and partnerships” for a turnaround.