Incitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 3964 posts, RR: 13 Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5802 times:
With Continental and now American announcing nonstop service into India, skipping a stop in Europe will make travel between India and the US much quicker. Jet Airways is also entering the market. Will Air India be able to survive in the market offering services with stops in London and Frankfurt?
NYC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 5667 posts, RR: 47
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5772 times:
Not unless they order the new planes that they need to and improve their on board service. AI has a long way to go but unfortunately politicians in India don't share a sense of urgency to improve the airline.
Robsch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5678 times:
I flew ORD-FRA-BOM last year - it did seem like only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the people on the plane did the whole route. AI was probably the cheapest ORD-FRA routes and there is a relatively large Indian population in FRA (and London too for that matter).
But NYC777's point is well taken. Unless they continue to be cheaper, they need to improve their product. IFE was pretty bad -- in business class on the return leg it was a projected screen in front of a 744. On the outgoing flight it was nice lie flat seats. I think they had just leased some new planes but obviously didn't stop to do much of a uniform retrofit.
My bet is that Jet (9W) will end up with a larger portion of the market than AI, and perhaps others too. It's the best short-haul airline I've ever flown, period. Awesome service and new, clean planes. If they can extend their domestic prowess to the international market, I think a lot of airlines will need to watch out for them.
Dforce1 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5524 times:
With the introduction of their new Boeings they have ordered, I would expect to see Air India ramp up their service and route offerings to better compete with Jet Airways. I heard that they were looking at offering services to Canada.
Mrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5532 times:
Quoting Dforce1 (Reply 6): With the introduction of their new Boeings they have ordered, I would expect to see Air India ramp up their service and route offerings to better compete with Jet Airways. I heard that they were looking at offering services to Canada.
AI till date has not ordered any Boeing since the last delivery of a 744 in 1996. AI already served YYZ from DEL via ATQ and BHX
A340roy From Germany, joined May 2004, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5426 times:
Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 8): They will have some "real" competition from S2. What with their tie-ins with BA & AA, and possible membership in OneWorld, where does that leave AI?
Gathering dust probably
well, AI has more than 30 tie-ups with other foreign carriers, including BA and AA for some time now, which leaves others shrugging off dust their from shoulders! Joining a airline group like STAR alliance or Oneworld does not make any single airline better or anything like that. it just enables them wider business opportunities. An alliance with a particular airline nearly works up to the same thing.
According to me, S2 and 9W have a LONG way to go before they can be successful in the Intl market. Its not only AI that they got to compete with, they have a whole bunch of far superior products to face.
the cutting edge that AI has, is that depending on AI's slots in the foreiggn market, 9W and S2 get their slots. Its like Chelsea FC, depending on whao they buy in the tranfer market, can other FA Clubs make moves for the same players. 9W and S2, being private operators, need to pay a extra landing fee outside India which amounts to nearly $ 100000,- per touch down (sorry mates, no sourced link for this) which AI do not need to pay being a Govt. operator.
The Govt. hand on AI helps AI (silently) dictate terms, which of course, i find unfair. But on the other hand, AI has to undergo stupid decisions made in the ministry, which S2 and 9W dont have to depend on. they can lease and buy a acft anytime and from anywhere, where as for AI, it takes ages and levels of permissions to buy a staple pin (sure am exaggerating...but u know what i mean)
I look at it this way, the entry of 9W and S2 in the Intl market is only a good thing, for everyone. AI can finally use this as an excuse to beef up its fleet, raise resources for a new look, and the much needed mental approach towards passenger service, and above all, passenger satisfaction, can be concentrated on, as otherwise, AI can simply count their operating days coming to a dead end. and for 9W and S2, they have been tough fighters in the domestic indian market, and their continued fight to be the best only helps passengers get better quallity, service and most important, good rates.
Like you see it, i am more optimistic for AI and Thank God 9W and S2 couldd get out of India!
Incitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 3964 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5297 times:
Quoting A340roy (Reply 10): . 9W and S2, being private operators, need to pay a extra landing fee outside India which amounts to nearly $ 100000,- per touch down (sorry mates, no sourced link for this)
Without a source that's a claim difficult to stand. $100,000 is slightly less than what it costs to fly an entire plane load from the US to India.
Jasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 40
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5264 times:
Air India need to get their act together, or die. Plain and simple.
Yes, we've all heard before the sob stories of how government interference is handicapping the 'airline' - but enough already. Government ownership is equally a blessing and a curse. The simultaneous wronged widow / bitch in the manger act got old a long time ago.
Here's a few things AI must do. Note that this applies to long-haul flights only (to Europe and beyond) because regional operations are a gone case.
And these are all based on my own experiences with Air India. Not on some fantasy.
1. Ground services
In my experience, AI rank lowest in the world in terms on ground service. Check-in, airport conditions, staff professionalism, baggage services, etc, etc.
Shabby, shabby, shabby - on all counts - except the LHR lounge.
2. Standardised schedules
You never know when your flight to London's going to depart, or where, if at all, it's going to stop on the way. The BOM-LHR-ORD flight has a different number and schedule every time. What is going on?
3. Cabin crew
Where do I start with this one? The tottering old dears on AI do a good job, no doubt. But service isn't exactly as stellar as it is made out to be. I've flown DL and AF between Bombay and Paris this year, and service is far better on both.
I've only ever had 2 FAs in the upstairs cabin, which is pathetic. DL have 36 seats in BusinessElite and at least 4 FAs. AF have 36 seats in L'Espace Affaires and 4 FAs. AI have 34 seats in Executive and I've never seen more than 2 FAs.
Besides, I feel like the the grannies and grandpas serving me on AI should be seated and I should be serving them.
4. Inflight product standardisation
Yes, we all know AI's planes are leased, but that's no excuse for the varying aircraft configurations. Some planes have signage in English and Hindi, some in Korean. Some have PTVs, some don't. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. The DVD players may be handed out, or they may not be. They might work, or they might not.
It's no longer acceptable to not have functioning PTVs, with the same programming, across your fleet. Leased or not.
6. Aircraft conditions
Tatty (not filthy, just tatty) planes. Worn upholstery. Varying carpets - ranging from UA grey to nothing at all.
Yes, AI have some really good food, with plenty of options. But, yet again, it's not all it's made out to be. I found both AF and even DL to be much better.
Delta usually have 4 or 5 selections. The ones I ate were very good.
Air France usually have less selections, maybe 2 or 3, but they're outstanding.
AI lose out on overall quality of meal service and presentation as well.
"The salad and the dessert wrapped in cling wrap is just plain" wrong.
Besides, "what do you mean you 'ran out of rum'?"
Also, change the ghastly faux-silver samovar-like thing you serve tea out of. Everyone knows it's cheap aluminium and it looks incredibly tacky. Even in an AI cabin.
And, for the last time, a small packet of chips is NOT an effing appetiser.
Shawnnyc From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5202 times:
Quoting Jasepl (Reply 13): Also, change the ghastly faux-silver samovar-like thing you serve tea out of. Everyone knows it's cheap aluminium and it looks incredibly tacky.
I agree with a lot of what you said. I do however like the tea set. A lot of airlines serve Nescafe as coffee, I don't get it either. But at least AI has real tea (I drink both coffee and indian tea). Tea on other airlines except BA is not really drinkable.
I think AI has better food than DL and AF. Other airlines have some good meals, but I have never had a bad meal on AI although the presentaiton in business is weak. That said I could never afford to pay $6000 to fly business on AF (I fly them business class only when my company pays). AI's business class gives me mostly what I want for 50% off.
What I don't get about AI service is why don't they have drink trolleys like every one else. I mean a try of coke, fanta orange and 7 up just doesn't cut it on such long flights. Wheel out the trolley its good exercise.
Jasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5193 times:
Quoting Shawnnyc (Reply 19): What I don't get about AI service is why don't they have drink trolleys like every one else. I mean a try of coke, fanta orange and 7 up just doesn't cut it on such long flights. Wheel out the trolley its good exercise.
I quite like the trolley-less service concept. Except for dessert - then bring on the trolley!
Of course, with AI, disasters happen. Like the time the male FA's paunch sent a couple of things flying!
An alliance with a particular airline nearly works up to the same thing.
I appreciate the reply. I would think that AA/BA coming to an agreement with S2 shows confidence in said management and operation. I trust they would do their "due dilligence" into a carrier they are entering into a business arrangement with.
I know of no tie-in with Air India and British Airways. Please correct me if I'm wrong.