It is a done deal. The Tata Group honcho, Padma Bhushan N Chandrasekaran, walked into the offices of Air India yesterday, at Airlines House, and picked up the keys to the kingdom. As of January 27, 2022, Air India became a Tata enterprise and some of the soft touches that the Tata folks could organise without being on board Tata are beginning to be rolled out.
New Announcements on Board
One of the first things that change is the announcements onboard the aircraft. Effective today, you will be hearing new announcements onboard the airline.
Here is a flight operated on the Delhi – Mumbai route, in the morning of January 28, 2022, with the new announcement.
Not just that, F&B services will be also upgraded across the board on Air India flights. Remember, Air India went all vegetarian and offered only one option to save on costs back in 2017? This changes. As per the Business Standard, you should soon expect to see non-vegetarian meals in economy class cabins on domestic flights. That will leave Vistara to be the only airline offering vegetarian only hot meals on their aircraft. Hot beverages had already returned on Air India. Ironically, Vistara had, in 2017, mocked Air India on social media, by flaunting their superior meals. Now, the tables are turning.
On international flights, sea food, including prawns will return for first-class passengers. Other softer aspects of the service will also be upgraded. For instance, the crew is being trained on service procedures including laying out the table and serving meals course by course.
Various amenities will also return, which were cut down in the name of Covid-19. Duvets, blankets and pillows will be back on the planes, and so will be hot towels, which was the common practice earlier.
Beverage service will also return. As per a staff circular sent out earlier in January 2022, beverage service will be conducted before each meal, and a trolley will be used for service in First and Business Class.
While these are some of the soft product changes being made, the hard product changes will take longer. However, the intent is being shown for now, to upgrade the standards of Air India. You should be able to see these changes on flights domestically soon, and for the lucky few, on their Boeing 777s flying to the US in First Class as well.
What do you think of some of the changes being made by Air India to kickstart their imagebuilding as a private organisation?
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