Air India set to launch new First/Business Class on International flights

Air India seems to be another case of misplaced priorities, just like Alitalia. While Alitalia, the bankrupt carrier is planning to introduce new uniforms at the cost of $9 million, Air India made a stunning announcement today as well, after the Indian Government declared that Air India sale plan was dropped for the time being, after they couldn’t find even one bidder for their plan. Air India business class is going to be revamped!

Now, we all know that Air India’s product is largely broken. And it’s something that even a kid could tell you. For instance, here is Air India Business Class on their 777 aircraft.

Air India Business Class

Here is the Air India Business Class on their 787 aircraft. While the service was largely nice, it pains that Air India could not keep up the hardware of those planes in good shape.

Air India Business Class

Air India almost always buys the factory-fitted seats, rather than designing a customer experience. The best they can do is to pick those colours of the upholstery on their seats.

So, it was no surprise that Air India picked up 3 new 777s this year, all with factory fitted seats from Boeing.

Air India Business Class

Even the first class product, sort of is in bad shape. However, they planned, back in 2017, to make First Class Great Again!

Air India First Class

Now, it seems the airline has decided they should finally spend some money on the business class product (my money, not theirs!). Today, there is an announcement on the newswires, that states:

Passengers on most of Air India’s international flights are all set for a new experience as the airline will soon introduce ‘Maharaja’ business class seats, variety cuisines and new uniforms for crew, officials said.

The revamped products and services is likely to be unveiled on June 22, which would also come on an eventful week when the government decided to put the breaks, for now, on the disinvestment plans for the loss-making carrier.

“The airline would launch a revamped Maharaja business class,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told reporters here.

The existing first class and business class seats on its Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft fleet would be revamped for the Maharaja business class seats. These planes operate short and long haul international routes.

Airline officials said the latest makeover exercise would involve overhauling of a section of the first class and business class with an upgraded ambience, upholstery and other new features. The night kits would also come with a new look, they added.

Besides, variety cuisines and new uniforms for crew would be introduced, they said.

“The objective of the revamping exercise is to bring about the much needed change in the airline, make it more customer-focussed with enviable service,” one of the officials said.

Another official said the move is part of larger efforts to attract more passengers on its international flights and in turn generate more revenues as well as gain more market share.

Currently, Air India has 17 per cent market share on international routes. It has over 2,500 international prime-time slots per week spread across 43 overseas destinations.

According to the officials, the cabin crew of Boeing aircraft flying on the overseas routes would be sporting new uniform with a subtle western touch.

It is so surprising that Air India would choose today to declare that they would be putting out a new product. Air India’s soft product is good, but it is the lame decision making by people on the ground which makes it an undesirable product to fly. For example, this unsound RFP for getting tablets for business class customers.

What do you think this new Maharajah seat would be like? Or is it the case of the Emperor’s new clothes, which no one else can see and will quickly go old because the first thing they need to fix is not the seats but their CULTURE!

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Comments

  1. What a joke, the nature of the announcement shows that even Air India is not certain that this will even work for them!

  2. What does it mean when they say “overhauling of a SECTION OF the first class and business class” .. Is only part of business getting new seats? Very odd way to phrase this.

  3. I think this is yet another move to get some more life support ( read bailout package). Too little too late. With such phenomenal landing spots and timings the least they could do all these years is maintain aircrafts which clearly they did not bother about.

  4. The 787 business class is fine. I don’t think they need an upgrade on those. The 777, it’s shit. First class is even worse. I would rather fly business on 777 than first.

    I don’t know if you know/remember but Air India at one time was probably the only airline in the world that had Bose Noise Cancelling headsets in their business class. Now that’s extreme luxury. They disposed those off for regular headsets when the 787s came in.

    I think it might be a good idea for the Maharaja to upgrade and attract new customers. For how long remains the question. I think their maintenance is super bad. That’s what needs and overhaul.

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