By Devesh Agarwal
Thanks to the Aeroblogger, we have a copy of Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Rohit Nandan’s letter to all the Air India employees.
I wish you and your family members a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year! May the year 2013 usher in peace, progress and prosperity for all Air Indians! As we welcome the New Year – we can look back at the year gone by and introspect on our successes and challenges. We need to overcome the impediments and strive for further improving on our performance in the coming year.
The New Year is dawning on us on a rather positive note. From last May onwards, our concerted efforts to win back passengers have resulted in our market share heading northwards. In spite of stiff competition and high ATF charges, we have shown a lot of character and determination to fight adversities and soar towards a brighter horizon.
It is indeed heartening that we are well on our way to turn-around. Our on–time performance in the first half improved to over 85% from below 80% last year. In the domestic sector, it was 89% while in the international sector it was 81%. Our passenger load factor has also improved significantly. Our average fleet utilization on the domestic and international sectors has also improved appreciably. The number of passengers in November and December showed a substantial increase, with an average of over 46,000 passengers flying daily- resulting in enhanced yield as well. Route rationalization continues to be a significant part of our strategy to return to profitability. Through various cost reduction measures, we have been able to bring down our cost substantially in the first half of this financial year and this cost-conscious approach would have to continue. We have also focused on monetization of our idle and surplus assets to shore up our bottom-line by way of lease, rental and sale of excess space.
Our hard work has been recognized by the media with Air India figuring amongst the top 50 service brands in India in the latest edition of Most Trusted Brands survey by the Economic Times Brand Equity. We are the only airline to have made its mark in the list. This is the seventh year that Air India has been honoured with this award. Besides, the IQS International Quality Summit Award and the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Gold Award stand testimony to the growing passenger confidence in us.
We all know that September 8, 2012, the first factory-fresh Boeing 787 Dreamliner flew into Delhi from the US, fulfilling the dreams of an emerging nation. The state-of-the-art aircraft considered a game-changer in air transportation was the first of the 27 Dreamliners we have inducted into our fleet. Dreamliners are expected to achieve great performance levels at lower fuel costs maintenance and operating costs. From an operational aspect, too, the Dreamliner has the optimal size and range not only to operate Air India’s current routes more profitably, but also to open up new markets in Australia, Europe, the Gulf and the Southeast Asia. The Dreamliners have started their long haul operations from October 15, 2012, with a direct flight from Delhi to Frankfurt. We have to utilize these strengths to surge ahead of competition. And, in this endeavour – both machines and men will have to complement each other.
Let me conclude by wishing you and your family members once again a Happy Festive Season!
Chairman & Managing Director