Air India is getting a glow up in a sweeping overhaul of the airline’s branding and reputation.
The makeover, launched last Thursday, is being implemented by India’s Tata Group, in partnership with FutureBrand. The suite of changes, baptised “The Vista”, are inspired by a reshaped golden window frame, symbolising a “Window of Possibilities” according to a press release. They also include replacing an old red swan logo and introducing a new colour palette of gold, red and purple, or “aubergine” as Business Today put it, representing the “strength and depth of being Indian.”
Some passengers will notice changes from as early as December this year. All the carrier’s widebody planes will be restyled by 2025, according to Campbell Wilson, Air India CEO.
The creator behind the new look, Tasneem Ali, described the redesign as “modern but along with that it also comes with the heritage.” That means the company will not be losing its very well-known beatific Mahajara, which for many diaspora is a sentimental representation of Indian identity. “The Maharaja will live on, it will remain beloved. But his look is being changed. The purple and gold colors are being added to his look, ” Wilson said.
The vision we have for the airline is also in the backdrop of a new resurgent India where the aspirations of everyone are limitless.Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons
Part of the backdrop being shed, however, is the airline’s reputation for financial woes. Tata founded the airline back in 1932 before it was taken over by the Indian government in the fifties. The founders re-acquired the beleaguered carrier in autumn 2021, paying $2.4bn (2.19 bn euros) and taking on $9.5bn of losses.
They have since begun implementing multi-million-dollar reforms, including negotiating with Europe’s Airbus and US-based Boeing to “buy a record 470 new aircrafts as part of the airline’s push to become a bigger global player”, in the words of the BBC.
Chandrasekaran has described the overhaul as bringing the carrier’s fleet up to an “acceptable” level.
As well as a new theme song, and new tail and engine design, the airline is boasting better in-flight technology and better seating.
A new website and mobile app, offering improved connected experiences with new digital tools and features, is in the pipeline, as well as 24-7 customer care in nine languages being rolled out by the end of 2023.
Tata is also investing in new passenger lounges at Delhi and New York airports amid a push for an improved global hospitality network in all its international and domestic destinations.
“Air India is making significant investments throughout the guest experience to elevate its service and to strengthen its position as the preferred airline for travellers flying to, from, and within India,” notes a press release.