Why I am not too hopeful with the Air India 787 induction?!

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The Air India B787 take off from Charleston

I’ve been sounding negative all along about Air India being actually able to make some difference with the cutting edge 787 being added to their fleet. After a comedy of errors all these months, as the plane took off from Charlseton yesterday to be flown to Delhi, I know a lot of India is feeling like this plane is going to change the fortunes of Air India. I can’t support that view, because I’ve seen Air India go down and down over the months and years from the sidelines. Here are some things that point to them being clueless about the whole airline business maybe.

Perhaps one of India’s respectable aviation journalist, tried finding out their plans with the plane. The Sydney/Melbourne route has been in discussion for long, but the article states:

“This will be a soft launch,” said an Air India executive, who did not want to be named, adding plans are still being worked out.

Now, they’ve known for so many months that this plane was going to be in their fleet, other airlines such as United have even updated the GDS with the information on the routes and dates when they will operate them. Here, no one even knows where is the plane going to fly and when? Takes too long to decide or what?

Further, the article states that Air India will be keeping the plane on the ground for 10 days.

For the first 10 days, the plane will be on the ground as the paperwork is to be completed.

Maybe I don’t know my aviation enough, but I am at a loss to understand what takes this plane 10 days to be paperworked. Can someone explain it to me please?

Then, I see this full-page advertisement in the newspaper today and I could totally take them to the courts for misrepresentation Winking smile, and that when I ignore the bad copy. You can click on the image for a bigger picture.

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Now, look at those images above. They show you a nice cabin and all the good pictures, looking at which there will be customers who will buy tickets to travel on the plane with a blue livery. But when you will walk in, you will find this horrible orange and yellow combination (add grey too in the business class!):

No wonder the 787 will just be another plane in the Air India fleet and hangar, and not a game changer for them till they do not get a professional approach to flying!

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About Ajay Awtaney

Ajay is a financial services pro, working to bring order to the chaos of the financial industry on an everyday basis! Beyond that, he dons the hat of India's favourite frequent traveller, trying to help people elevate their travel experience via tips and tricks they never knew before, or introduce them to the world of miles and points. Armed with an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and graduate degree in computer science from the University of Delhi, Ajay brings a systematic and objective approach on the table for his audience in dissecting travel and loyalty programs in India and around the world, and how to benefit from them. Ajay has been quoted in various reputed traditional and online media including The Hindustan Times, Inside Flyer, Bloomberg, DNA India, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, Mumbai Mirror, Mint, MoneyLife and The USA Today.

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Comments

  1. I flew the D/L Chennai – Delhi. Fantastic aircraft. Got upgraded to business via optiontown. Fantastic aircraft!!

    Now, what D/L has done for AI, apart from having a differentiating factor for people, the whole AI Staff is PROUD of this new plane. It shows in their body language. Even the fabled AI Aunties are ‘slightly’ acceptable, with a burst of enthusiasm & smiles.

    I think AI has got the right plane at the right time. With the new guidance system (GAGAN) + D/L, they will have a price / cost advantage, at least to offset their bloated P&L. IMHO, they will come back.

  2. Air India never seem to make life easy for themselves. It’ll be interesting to see what management and government interference does this time.

    I’m still actually amazed that AI actually managed to negotiate terms with Boeing over delivery….

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