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What's Next For Air India  
User currently offlineIncitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4000 posts, RR: 13
Posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5862 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?

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNYC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 5731 posts, RR: 48
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5832 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.


That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
User currently offlineRobsch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days ago) and read 5738 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.


User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

Quoting Incitatus (Thread starter):
Will Air India be able to survive in the market offering services with stops in London and Frankfurt?

I think that the one stops with 5th freedom are quite economic already (3 markets). But it would be a good addition to have a couple of nonstops besides them

Quoting Robsch (Reply 2):
and there is a relatively large Indian population in FRA

Hmmm... 20 yrs in FRA, and I do not know? depends what you see as large.. for me, about 3,000 is nothing


User currently offlineTexdravid From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 3):
I think that the one stops with 5th freedom are quite economic already (3 markets). But it would be a good addition to have a couple of nonstops besides them

...AND not all of the nonstops to BOM or DEL!! Big grin



Tort reform now. Throw lawyers in jail later.
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5602 times:

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
...AND not all of the nonstops to BOM or DEL!!

No, MAA will be AIs new A310 hub then Big grin


User currently offlineDforce1 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5584 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.

User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5592 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


User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5576 times:

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.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5490 times:

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 8):
They will have some "real" competition from S2

S2 seems to be Fighting back hard.Time will tell.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineA340roy From Germany, joined May 2004, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5486 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!

cheerz,
roy



AR-FRA
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5443 times:

Quoting A340roy (Reply 10):
it just enables them wider business opportunities. An alliance with a particular airline nearly works up to the same thing.

I fully agree - I tried to explain this point to others, but they did not agree.. tailor-made individual partnerships can be better than taking an entire package (more flexible etc)


And even I think that 9W underestimates AIs performance.. maybe in the long-term, tehy will be partners to kick S2 et al


User currently offlineIncitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4000 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5357 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.


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5324 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.

5. PTVs
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.

7. Catering
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.

[Edited 2005-07-13 23:54:59]

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5324 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, but this is misinformation.


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5296 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. Even in an AI cabin.

And, for the last time, a small packet of chips is NOT an effing appetiser.

Actually the faux silver samovar thing is the only thing I like. In a dimmed cabin, its the best part of their service.

But, yes, a packet of chips in J class is not an appetizer.

And I agree with all your other statements. Also, coffee is not a diluted cup of Nescafe. Coffee is brewed coffee. If Delta can do it, AI can.


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5317 times:

Quoting Jasepl (Reply 13):
AI have 34 seats in Executive and I've never seen more than 2 FAs.

Air India have 26 seats in Business Class upstairs and 3 FAs assigned (you will only see 2 because the third is on galley duty).


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5274 times:

Sorry, my mistake. 26 seats. That's not what AI claim, by the way.

And I've looked in the galley. Even gone up and chatted with them. They even took me into the cockpit and brought me ice-cream from downstairs.

The most I've ever seen are 2.

[Edited 2005-07-13 23:57:30]

User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5260 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 15):
Actually the faux silver samovar thing is the only thing I like. In a dimmed cabin, its the best part of their service.

In a dimmed cabin, probably.

But during a daylight flight, the sunlight hit her knock-off Cartier, bounced off the samovar and blinded me.  Smile


User currently offlineShawnnyc From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5262 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.


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5253 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!


User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5248 times:

Quoting A340roy (Reply 10):

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.

regards


User currently offlineShawnnyc From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5233 times:

Quoting Jasepl (Reply 20):
I quite like the trolley-less service concept

Sorry, I like it in J class but not in coach.


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5223 times:

Jay, your samovar:



User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5215 times:

Well, that Samovar thing looks like an Indian antique. It's the only thing on board that should look like an antique. Not the rest of the plane !

25 Jasepl : Oh yeah, that's true. It would be impossible in economy! Alas!
26 Post contains images Mrniji : LOL! I agree!    I think Jason has given a good summary! as someone who now flies AI more frequently (price) I will comment a little for another in
27 Post contains images Jasepl : McDo? Except that Chinese Burger I had over a year ago - that wasn't too bad.
28 A340roy : I know, i had to fight with myself to mention this, and yes, everyone has the right to claim that it is correct or wrong. But you know it is difficul
29 Post contains links DFORCE1 : A formal order may have not been placed yet but as you will read from the press release below, they are planning on it. And I was thinking they might
30 The777Man : Thanks for the link to the press release ! Very good news! Looks like AI is slightly closer to placing the order for the Boeings.... The777Man
31 Mrniji : FY both I: "subject to government approval" means everything from 1 month to one decade Very old news btw, there were 20 + threads, about 200 + posts
32 HAWK21M : Any Idea when the Decision will be "Inked". regds MEL
33 N60659 : This may turn out to be a really dumb question (and my apologies if it is). The link that has the news bite references "today", but does not have a d
34 Jaysit : Well, how about a cheap price and PTVs? The Asian carriers and Emirates manages to do that. Gosh, even Kuwait Airways does. As for reading a book, ch
35 Post contains images Jasepl : Perhaps. But PTVs have nothing to do with the price of the ticket. And, at least in J and F, they're basically de rigueur now. I personally don't car
36 Post contains images Blrsea : Jason, good summary. Could't have said it better myself. On long flights, PTVs and VODs are a necessity. Who wants to see some sh**y hindi movie liste
37 Jasepl : Oh, I think I've been misunderstood. AI's food is excellent! But it's not the end-all of inflight catering. I've found better choices and just as goo
38 Post contains images Mrniji : I know, but AF did not
39 Karan69 : I remember reading it a week after the original order was announced
40 Post contains links Sammyk : The date (April 26th) is shown in the list of press releases: http://www.airindia.com/articlelist.asp
41 N60659 : That was what I was thinking as well. Thanks for the confirmation. There is some speculation (on another topic in this forum) that the 5 unidentified
42 Post contains images Jasepl : But there was no order Karan! The Air India board decided they wanted to place an order. That's it. That, evidently, was was just step 3,009 of a 6,7
43 Post contains images HAWK21M : Thats the problem AI & IC only decide. 9W,S2,AD & the rest Place orders regds MEL
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