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Air India: All You Need to Know About this Iconic Airline

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Air India (AI)

One of India’s leading airlines, Air India was established in 1932 by Sir J.R.D. Tata. It flew from Karachi to Juhu Aerodrome in Mumbai, later the flight continued to Chennai. In 1952, the government announced the merger of all private airlines to be run completely by the government. But after almost 68 years in early 2022, the airline returned to where it belonged, to the Tatas.

A Brief history of Air India

Air India (AI) was founded as Tata Airlines in the year 1932 by J.R.D. Tata. An interesting fact that many aren’t aware of is that Tata himself flew the first single-engine aircraft that carried air mail to Juhu aerodrome in Bombay all the way from Karachi. The flight then continued on to Chennai (then Madras). The airline was renamed Air India post World War II along with becoming a Public Limited Company. Maharaja, the mascot of Air India (AI) is famous worldwide and must be credited with increasing the popularity of the airline across the globe.

Destinations Air India Serves

According to the estimates of 2019, Air India operates between 102 domestic destinations along with nearly 45 international ones. It serves between 31 countries across the five continents around the world. The popular airline has a primary hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and a secondary hub at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai.

Air India Fleet

Air India (AI) uses a series of Airbus and Boeing aircraft to serve various destinations across the globe. Several of these are wide body aircrafts that offer utmost comfort to passengers while traveling over long international flight journeys. The Air India aircraft that usually carries the President, Vice-President or Prime Minister of India has the call sign of Air India One.

It was recently announced that the new owners of the airline, the Tata Group are planning to restore Air India planes and renovate these to start commercial operations. The airlines now have several widebody and narrow body aircrafts that were not in use due to the lack of engine overhaul or because of the unavailability of some components or spares. But if everything goes as planned, these will be able to fly and resume operations; which in turn will increase the airline’s fleet

Air India to Acquire the Complete Stake of AirAsia India

The airline industry will witness another takeover as AirIndia will acquire the complete stake of debt-ridden AirAsia India. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) also gave an approval for this acquisition on 14th June 2022. It already had around 83.67% of the equity share earlier. After the deal is sealed, Air India will get the remaining 16% of the shares from AirAsia Berhad, which is a top Malaysian airline group. This will increase Air India’s share in the Indian domestic market by upto 25%.

Also Read: Air India Negotiates with United Airlines and Others for Codesharing

Services Offered by Air India

  • eSuper Saver Scheme

As the name suggests, this scheme is one of the best ways to save money when booking Air India (AI) flights. The offer is valid for business class and economy travel on a few domestic Air India sectors and is meant only for single users. There’s an eSuper Saver Scheme which is meant for multi users.

Inflight Entertainment

The inflight entertainment offered by Air India (AI) is among the best offered by any airline in the world ensuring utmost passenger comfort. On board an Air India flight, you can expect to enjoy a vast number of entertainment channels, access to latest news, a variety of programs, TV shows, audio books, and a collection of good music.

  • Special Needs Assistance

Air India (AI) takes care of the special needs of its passengers. For instance, if you are in need of a wheelchair, you will be provided one. However, the airline prefers that you request for one at the time of reservation or booking. This is to avoid the inconvenience you may face in the event that there aren’t any wheelchairs available at the last minute.

  • Inflight Food Service

Air India (AI) takes its passengers on an epic culinary voyage through its top-notch food services. Passengers on board international flights are served all three meals while those on domestic ones are served high tea as well. Additionally, there are special meals such as religious meals, dietary meals, medical meals, and meals for babies and infants.

  • Air India Airport Services

Air India (AI) has set up ground handling at more than 50 airports across the country. The services the airline offers via this include Passenger Handling, Technical Assistance, VVIP Charter Handling, Aircraft Recovery Assistance, Ramp Handling, Engineering and Allied Services among plenty of other things.

  • Group Bookings

Air India (AI) offers group booking for more than 10 passengers traveling together. This is an incredibly convenient service as it means that entire families can travel on the same flight without having to split up. Many large groups of travelers prefer group bookings with Air India.

  • Frequent Flyer Program

Air India (AI) shares its frequent flyer program with its subsidiaries. The program is called Flying Returns and you will earn good miles once you enroll. You have the option to redeem the points you earn here for travel on certain other airlines as well.

  • Premium Lounges

First and Business Class passengers have the privilege to enjoy the Maharaja Lounge. At international airports that do not have the Maharaja Lounge, Air India (AI) shares lounges with other reputed international airlines. By the latest estimate, there are a total number of 8 Maharaja Lounges which travelers can enjoy.

You can book international flights to India through Indian Eagle and get amazing deals on Air India flights. So, why wait? Plan your itinerary today and save more on your travel expenses.

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