The prime airline of India, Air India, founded by J. R. D. Tata as Tata Airlines in 1932. It is presently owned by the government of India, with the enterprise name being Air India Limited, and is headquartered in New Delhi. It comprises Airbus and Boeing aircraft that operates 102 domestic and over 60 International flights. Its primary hub is Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and its secondary hub is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai. Besides, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram are its seven focus cities. On 11 July 2014, it became the 27th member of Star Alliance.
It has two subsidiaries, Alliance Air and AirIndia Express, that operate domestic and Asian flights. Its mascot is the emperor or, Maharajah and the logo depicts a flying swan with the Konark wheel inside it.
Boeing and Airbus aircrafts
On 21st February 1960, it became the first Asian airline to introduce a Jet aircraft in its fleet with the delivery of Gauri Shankar, its first Boeing 707 aircraft. Air India’s Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 787-8 serve international destinations.
Besides Boeing, AirIndia operates Airbus aircraft as well. Airbus A320-200 aircraft serves both domestic and international short-haul flights. Airbus A319s aircraft, introduced back in 2005, serves domestic and regional flights. At the same time, Airbus A330s aircraft serves medium to long haul international destinations. Besides, Air India One is the calling sign that carries VIPs, like the Prime Minister, president, or vice president. Five Boeing 747-400s, meant for VIP flights.
Boeing aircraft, especially Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 747-400, have the three-class configuration assigned for long haul flights. Airbus A321 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft consist of two-class configurations. Airbus A320 usually has an all-economy configuration or two-class configuration. The aircraft with a complete economy configuration is Airbus A319.
Besides, Air India serves the meal on flights that fly over the 90-minute duration, be it domestic or international. Thales i3000 is the in-flight entertainment system where passengers are provided with Hindi and English content. Subh Yatra is a bilingual magazine that is provided in all Air India flights for the passengers.
Air India Missions
Gulf War Evacuation
Gulf war evacuation was carried out to evacuate Indian citizens residing or working in Kuwait and Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. The operation was carried for 59 days from 13 August to 11 October 1990, evacuating over 111,000 people from Amman to Mumbai covers a distance of 4,117 Kilometers. It also entered the Guinness Book of World Records to evacuate most people by a civil airliner.
Vande Bharat Mission
Started on 7 May 2007, Air India carried out this mission to evacuate the citizens of India who were stranded in other countries during the worldwide lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This mission is continuing and will probably continue till the pandemic is over.
Therefore, Air India is the major airline of India that operates the maximum number of domestic and International flights. It consists of Boeing and Airbus aircraft that have three-class, two-class and all-economy cabin configurations. It is perhaps the best airline in India.