As the Tata group-owned airline looks for ways to increase both its market share and its global network, its CEO Campbell Wilson announced on Saturday that premium economy class will be introduced on some of its long-haul international flights starting next month. While speaking at an event by the JRD Tata Memorial Trust, which marked the 118th birth anniversary of JRD Tata, Wilson stated that the airline will increase its market share to at least 30 per cent on both domestic and international routes.
The airline is implementing a long-term revival plan, with the goal of growing its wide-body and narrow-body fleets as well as the global network over the next five years.
"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," the Air India CEO and MD said.
Wilson says that the airline has brought nearly 20 aircraft back into service that were on the ground for years due to a lack of funds and parts. This has necessitated purchasing more than 30,000 parts that had been cannibalised over the years to keep other aircraft flying, he added, excluding cabin interiors.
He added that the airline has finalised leases for 30 additional aircraft that will be delivered over the course of the next 12 months, beginning next week, in addition to restoring long-grounded aircraft, with more 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.
Tata group took over Air India in January this year.
With inputs from PTI
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