Air India CEO Campbell Wilson on Friday said that the airline had, this week, acquired three brand new aircraft including first Airbus A350, and two Boeing 737MAX.
In letter, Wilson said that the aircraft acquired are part of the mammoth 470-aircraft order announced just a few months ago. “As well as Air India being the first Indian carrier to acquire the A350, this transaction makes us the first scheduled carrier to use the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), and the aircraft the first widebody to have been leased through India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).
“The A350 is now undergoing some interior and technical modification and will receive a new coat of paint with the new Air India livery, so will only enter Indian skies in December. However, the B737MAXs will arrive much sooner… in fact, the first one is winging it’s way to India as I write!” Wilson said. The CEO also said that they inaugurated a new Emergency Command Centre (ECC) at their headquarters in Gurugram this week, replacing two erstwhile Air India facilities that were well past their prime.
“This new, state-of-the-art facility would be where, in the event of a crisis affecting Air India or our alliance partners, our actions would decided, coordinated and overseen. While we all hope that we never have to actively use this facility, the ECC gives us a world-class base equipped with the latest technology so that we can respond with the best possible support,” he said.”
We will also be refreshing and strengthening our Go Team with ground handling, flight safety members and technical representation, and adding to our Family Assistance Team to ensure we can provide humanitarian support wherever needed. Currently, we have 750 ‘Angels of Air India’ volunteers who will soon undergo training in emergency management, and we are always keen for more,” he added. “Speaking of technology, I’d also like to acknowledge the D&T and Customer Experience teams for the successful transition of all customer service channels to our own technology stack.
This includes telephony, computer-telephony-interface, interactive voice response, customer relationship management, customer data platform and artificial-intelligence-driven agent-assist technologies, which allows us to have a unified view of all customer support needs,” he said in the letter.
“Modernising and in housing this tech stack, and better interfacing it with other key systems, gives Air India better control, independence and ability to materially improve our customers’ experience with us, and to accelerate the development and deployment of new capabilities,” he added.