Air India is onboarding more than 3,800 employees in six months

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Air India on Thursday it said it has onboarded more than 3,800 employees for crew and other roles, and rolled out more than 29 new employee policies in the past six months as part of initiatives under its five-year transformation plan. The loss-making Air India, which is controlled by the Tata Group has been investing $200 million in IT systems since January last year and is also committed to investing $400 million in the complete refurbishment of existing aircraft.

It has also placed orders for 470 aircraft.

‘Taxi’, the first phase of the Vihaan.AI transformation plan, which aimed at “addressing the airline’s legacy issues at scale and laying the groundwork for future growth,” has been completed, the airline said, adding that the second phase ‘Take Off’, which will focus on developing the platforms, processes and systems needed to build towards excellence, has now begun.

CEO of Air India and MD Campbell Wilson said the first six months of the transformation journey saw great progress in addressing many issues that had accumulated over the years and that the airline had come a long way in laying foundations for growth.

“Our record-breaking aircraft order, $400 million commitment to fully refurbish existing aircraft, $200 million investment in new IT and the hiring of literally thousands of employees are just some of the significant investments being made to take Air India to the highest echelons of global aviation.

“As we move into our Take Off phase, we will begin to see these investments pay off,” he said in a release.

The second phase will also witness the consolidation of AirAsia India and Air India Express, the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) entity has already merged their main reservation platforms, websites and customer facing systems.

“Vistara will also be merged with Air India after obtaining regulatory approval. The development of a world-class training academy will also take shape, as will the future direction and configuration of the airline’s line and base maintenance,” the release said.

In addition to launching premium economy seats for the first time on selected long-haul flights, Air India has revamped its menus on international and domestic routes.

The airline also rolled out more than 29 new policies for employees to improve well-being, designed new reward programs for longtime employees and “onboarded more than 3,800 employees across crew and other positions to support capacity and growth,” the release said.

In addition, the airline accelerated fleet expansion with 36 leased aircraft, including 11 wide-body aircraft delivered in 2022-23, as well as “recommissioned or decommissioned pending sale, all aircraft long grounded” .

Air India achieved the highest-ever revenue for one-day passengers, the highest-ever cargo revenue, the highest-ever revenue from ancillary activities and the highest-ever load factor, the release said.

Extensive reserve and support agreements have been made to improve global reliability and a performance improvement program is underway with Boeing to improve the reliability of 787 aircraft.

“In-flight Entertainment (IFE) systems have been restored to working condition on nearly all first and business class seats, with economy seats accounting for nearly 90 percent,” the release said.

The airline has also reactivated more than 10 codeshare agreements and is in active alliance talks with other airlines.

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