Air India to introduce premium economy class next month: CEO Campbell Wilson

Air India CEO and Managing Director Campbell Wilson said on Saturday that Air India will introduce premium economy class on some of its long-haul international flights next month, as the Tata Group-owned airline works on ways to expand its market share as well as global network.

Addressing an event by the JRD Tata Memorial Trust here, Wilson said the airline will increase its market share to at least 30% on domestic and international routes.

The airline is implementing a long-term revival plan and, over the next five years, aims to grow its narrow-body and wide-body fleet as well as expand the global network.

“Short-term actions were to replace carpets, curtains, seat cushions and covers. To fix faulty seats and in-flight entertainment systems as quickly as supply chains would allow. And where parts were no longer on the market, to work with the likes of Tata Technologies to design and manufacture parts ourselves.”

“We have recently completely revamped the list of domestic flights and will do the same, in addition to launching Premium Economy Class on some long-haul international flights next month,” said Air India CEO and Managing Director.

According to Wilson, the airline has returned nearly 20 planes that were banned years ago due to a lack of parts and money. Aside from the cabin interiors, he added, this required the purchase of more than 30,000 parts that were dismantled over the years to keep the other planes flying.

In addition to taking back the long-haul aircraft, he said the airline has finalized leases for an additional 30 aircraft to be delivered over the next 12 months, starting next week, with more in the final stages of negotiations.

“Besides these short-term additions, we are in deep discussion with Boeing, Airbus and engine manufacturers to secure a historic order of the latest generation aircraft that will support Air India’s growth in the medium and long term. At the risk of overall downsizing, the investment will be significant.” .

Air India was acquired by Tata Group in January this year.