25% pre-privatisation court cases by customers amicably resolved: Air India

Some cases dated back more than 15 years, says CEO Campbell Wilson in message to employees

Air India CEO Campbell Wilson

Air India CEO Campbell Wilson

Deepak Patel New Delhi

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Air India's legal and customer experience team has amicably resolved 25 per cent of more than 600 court cases filed by customers before the airline's privatisation, said the carrier's chief executive officer and managing director Campbell Wilson on Friday.

Some cases dated back more than 15 years, he told employees in a message reviewed by Business Standard. "In the past few months they have amicably resolved around one quarter of the backlog and are steadily working through the rest," he noted.

The Tata Group took charge of Air India in January 2022, about four months after winning the bid for the state-run carrier. "Some customers have been so touched by this new effort that they have even written compliments appreciating our proactive outreach to resolve such long outstanding cases," said Wilson.

In his message, he also mentioned the approval issued by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on September 1 to merge Vistara into Air India.

"This is a welcome and important step toward the eventual integration of the four Tata airlines into two, one full service and one low cost, though it is not the only step. We also need approval from the competition regulators in some other jurisdictions, including Singapore, before we can fully press the accelerator."

Air India is working to get other approvals and continues to plan for an integration that makes the future airline group even stronger than the sum of its parts, he said.

As of August 1, Air India had 74 Airbus and 53 Boeing planes in its fleet, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.

In February, Air India placed an order for 470 planes, with 250 from European plane maker Airbus and 220 from Boeing. This order represents the world's second-largest single-tranche aircraft purchase. The order with Boeing includes 190 B737Max, 20 B787s, and 10 B777s aircraft. The Airbus firm order comprises 210 A320 family aircraft and 40 A350 planes. A350, B777, and B787 are wide-body aircraft with larger fuel tanks, allowing them to cover long distances, such as India-North America routes.

In FY23, Air India's net loss increased by 19.16 percent to ~11,387.96 crore. Last month, Air India unveiled its new logo and livery featuring red, gold, and violet colors.

First Published: Sep 08 2023 | 5:02 PM IST

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