Posts: 1017
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:28 am

Possible Issues With An Air India-IC Merger

Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:28 am

While I think a potential merger between Air India and Indian Airlines makes perfect sense and is in fact long overdue, I have a few concerns about how the integration would take place.

Firstly, while having a domestic feeder network has always been a need of Air India, the setup for the airports in India isn’t conducive to promoting connections from domestic flights to Int’l flights. Unlike most airport in the west, you have jump through hoops in many cases to switch from the domestic terminal to the Int’l terminal (for example at Mumbai). I have several relatives who will no longer connect in Mumbai or Delhi to points within South India for this reason. Secondly, over the past five years Air India has switched most of its operations to Europe and North America to Mumbai (previously most flights were routed BOM-DEL-Europe) without a stop in Delhi. Indian Airlines domestic network is much stronger in Delhi than it is at Mumbai where Jet Airways has much stronger connection possibilities these days. Also, I think Indian Airlines has become a “brand name” of some sort in destinations such as Sharjah while Air India is a brand name in the west. Which name will be used for a merged airline? Lastly, and most obvious is the mixed fleet types with IC rapidly moving towards an all Airbus fleet and Air India doing opposite with recent purchases of 737-800s (for AI Express), 777 and 787s.

What does everyone think about the issue of compatibility and how will the integrated airline look?
Posts: 5997
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Possible Issues With An Air India-IC Merger

Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:45 am

I think a merged Air-India/Indian Airlines would be very successful! The fleet would consist of 747-400s, 777-200ER, A310s and A320s. IC's A300s would quickly be retired (the few that are left). The Air-India name probably would be kept and look for the new airline to improve facilities for connecting passengers at BOM and DEL. Perhaps the new airline will even build their new terminals at those airports with the money they would get from a privatization.

Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:48 am

RE: Possible Issues With An Air India-IC Merger

Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:47 am

A merger between these two government entities is probably one of the best things that can happen.

I really don't have any idea about how strong IC is at DEL or BOM but I think that the differences in the fleet make up should not be a problem. AI is moving towards a B fleet but that is for long haul flying. The 18 738s that AIX will only be a small number compared to the 70+ (not sure) A32Xs that IC will be flying around.

However I think that the major issues for a merger will probably not be a fleet differences concern but more or the labor issue. Both the airlines have lots of employees and integrating the two will be tough. And of course the all the red tape from our beloved GOI will be a major hurdle too.

Posts: 502
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:28 am

RE: Possible Issues With An Air India-IC Merger

Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:52 am

Is it strange that I agree with all of you?
You are correct in saying that connecting will be a mess. It's horrible, and usually late. But a merger will still be great if they do things right

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