In response to operational difficulties caused by fog, Air India is considering expanding its pool of pilots qualified to fly in low visibility scenarios, improving roster planning and scheduling buffers, and increasing proactive flight cancellations.
Air India CEO and Managing Director Campbell Wilson on Thursday mentioned a “unusually bad fog season” in northern India, but he also claimed the airline’s operations team is learning how to better handle the interruptions.
The aviation authority DGCA fined Air India Rs 30 lakh last week for failing to roster pilots for flights in bad visibility during the final week of December 2023, which coincided with flight problems at the Delhi airport.
According to data from aviation analytics company Cirium, since the Tata Group took over control of Air India on January 27, 2022, the airline has seen a 41.4% increase in the number of flights operated.
Significantly, Air India has expanded more on the international front than the domestic front, launching services on 24 new international destinations compared to just 12 new domestic routes in the same time frame.
Because there is more demand and greater financial potential in that market, Air India is putting more of an emphasis on expanding internationally. On the other hand, there is fierce competition in the home market, especially since IndiGo has a monopoly.
Over the past two years, the airline has received over $3 billion in funding from the salt-to-hotels business.
In a deal of Rs 2,700 crore, the Tata group assumed administration of Air India and started a five-year project called Vihaan.AI aimed at transforming the airline, which it claimed required a lot of work.
Since then, Air India has solidified its position, in part because of strategic adjustments and in part because of the industry’s evolution into a duopoly, with Indigo and Air India controlling more than 80 percent of the market.
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