Most probably you already know this news by now, and I know I am late on this but being an aviation writer, I’ve to write on this topic. Before we start, if you were wondering why I was inactive for the last month or so, it was due to my exams. As I didn’t post anything in November, you’ll get two posts this month. Stay tuned for that.
So finally Air India is reunited with Tata. These two have a very historic bond. This is perhaps my favourite blog to write. I’ve been having goosebumps of joy while researching and writing this blog. Maharaja or Air India have a real special bond. Now Let’s deep into Maharaja’s history.
It all started with J.R.D. Tata. He’s the pioneer of Indian aviation. He was the first pilot of India. It was one of his dreams or say vision to establish civil aviation in India. So then he founded Tata Airlines, but for establishing an airline, you need support from the government, and at that time it was British Raj in India. So after a series of long negotiations with the British government (sarkar), both the parties agreed on a deal. J.R.D. Tata with the help of Sir Dorabji Tata convinced the government to give them aircraft and permission (to fly) and in return, the Airline will provide the service free of charge. So this is how India’s first airline, TATA Airlines. Also, some believe that this of in a way first example of the service sector in India. The first flight of Tata Airline was operated on 15 October 1932 between Karachi and Mumbai ( Bombay at that time), carrying 25 kgs of mails and JRD Tata himself flew this flight.
Also in the same year, they started their domestic service and a ticket from Mumbai (Bombay) to Chennai (Madras) cost about Rs. 260. In 1946 it was renamed Air India and became a public limited company. Two years later the government of India purchased 49% of stakes in Air India. Also in the same year, Air Indian became international, and Air India International started operating international flights.
Now one of the dimmer bright chapters in the story of Air India. In 1953 Aviation was nationalised. So this means Air India became a public sector undertaking. Eight airlines including Air India were merged under the Air Corporation Act 1953 and created Indian Airways. On the merrier side, J.R.D. Tata stayed as the chairman of Air India.
Cavier on ice, Finest streaks and champagne, A menu prepared by the Chefs of Taj, Grand Lounges, Arts made by the artists of Shantiniketan, a true PALACE IN SKY.This is what you would hear from a passenger travelling on-board a maharaja flight.
Air India was the definition of luxury at that time, a flying palace. And when there’s a palace there’s a king and this king of Air India was Maharaja, the mascot. Air India was the benchmark for luxury.
And now come to the downturn. Air India incurred losses in 2007, and in the same year, they purchase aircraft worth about Rs. 145 Crores. Also in the coming days pilots went on strike, which meant their planes were not flying and became a liability rather than an asset. Some insiders say that the airline hired additional employees than required. Also, the training of the crew which was very vigorous in the past became very lenient. Also after the 2010s, new airlines started emerging with meant more competition for them. And as mentioned before, crew training changed, so the cabin experience was not the same. Thus, passengers went for other alternatives.
Fast forward more, and now the government has decided to privatize Air India again, and it is brought non-other than Tata. Let’s hope for a bright future for the airline and hope those glory days come back.
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeC4clsQbIo
- Cover Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vintage_photograph_of_an_Air_India_plane.jpg
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