The History of Air India Part 2

by Vinay Bhaskara

Earlier this week, the second part of my story of the history of Air India was posted over at This second part covers the tumultuous 1970s at Air India and Indian Airlines. I have posted an excerpt from that article here, but click on over to for the full story.

Link to Story

Air India would, at various times, operate 14 Boeing 747-200s, purchasing 11 brand-new from Boeing. During the 1970s, much of the focus was, predictably, on integrating the new aircraft successfully into Air India’s operation. The Boeing 747 presented enormous operational challenges for Air India; its sheer size made much of Air India’s ground equipment, as well as its maintenance and support operations essentially obsolete. Furthermore, while airports at the Londons and New Yorks of the world (where Air India would be operating their aircraft) had the necessary infrastructure in place to handle the Jumbo, taxiways, holding areas, and parking positions at Air India’s international gateways of Bombay and Delhi were woefully inadequate. But in an interesting contrast to today’s situation, the socialist-leaning Indian government of that time quickly acceded to Air India’s demands; building up the necessary infrastructure at not only Bombay and Delhi, but Madras and Calcutta as well. Air India was even able to build brand new maintenance hangars and support buildings at Bombay with a minimum of red tape. Air India’s mechanics at the time had an extraordinary reputation for quick, efficient and thorough quality service; leading many a third world carrier to schedule a stop in Bombay for maintenance purposes.

You can find Part 1 of that story here

Airline Reporter also posted another guest post by me; which covered the Acela Express, a local train operation in the Northeastern United States (Link)

Meanwhile, over at Cranky Flier, I helped the site’s author Brett Snyder out with a little research on Air India’s troubles, which ended with him tagging Air India with the moniker; “Worst Airline Ever

Also regarding Air India, Benet Wilson of Aviation Week (a.k.a Aviation Queen)published a guest post by Mr. Steven Frischling. Mr. Frischling’s post contained some inconsistencies and mistakes, so Benet kindly published my rebuttal post. (Link)

Finally, be sure to check out some of the stories I’ve written over at Aspire Aviation (You can find all 3 articles here). I’ve got an interview with Virgin America CEO David Cush, an article on South American airline Pluna, and a post on American Eagle up now.A post on Frontier Airlines should be up tomorrow as well. Additionally, I have published an in depth study of Delta Air Lines’ widebody operations; you can find a copy here

So readers, let me know what you think of these various posts in the comments below.

About Vinay Bhaskara

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