Air India modernises its Digital landscape to transform customer engagement and improve operational efficiencies

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Airline makes significant progress in its efforts to modernise its digital systems landscape, with multiple initiatives already completed and many more in progress.

This has been done with an initial investment of approximately US $200 million by the airline. It expects to sustain this pace of investment over the next five years. Major improvements in customer engagement as well as operational and cost efficiencies are expected to result from these investments.

India, April 24 2023: Air India, India’s leading airline and a Star Alliance member, today announced major progress in its efforts to modernise its digital systems landscape, with many initiatives already completed and several more in advanced stages towards completion. With a vision to emerge as the world’s most technologically advanced airline, Air India has made significant investments to rapidly revamp its digital systems in close partnership with the world’s leading technology firms. The airline is also investing in building a cutting-edge digital and technology team with its presence in Kochi and Gurugram in India, as well as in Silicon Valley in the United States. The digital and technology modernisation effort in Air India is being guided by Tata Group Chairman Mr. Natarajan Chandrasekaran and Air India CEO Mr. Campbell Wilson.

Air India’s Vihaan.AI transformation program envisions digital technologies as a key differentiator for Air India, with an aspiration to be an industry leader in technology. Practically each Vihaan.AI initiative is powered by technology, from enhancing customer experience to transforming revenue management. The airline has already invested approximately US $200 million in new digital systems, digital engineering services, and in creating an industry-leading digital workforce. It expects to sustain this pace of investment over the next five years as the transformation journey shifts from catching up with world-class airlines to taking a leadership position by deploying the most cutting-edge technologies ranging from traditional digital technologies to modern generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). The objective is to transform customer engagement and drastically improve operational efficiencies. Thinking ahead to long-term leadership, Air India is also exploring emerging trends such as the application of quantum computing to solve some of the most complex optimisation challenges in the industry.

“We are on a mission to delight our customers and create a sustainable competitive advantage in our operations by adopting the world’s best in digital technologies. The scope of the technology transformation at Air India is extensive and covers every aspect of the airline including commercial, engineering, operations, ground handling, finance, human resources, and corporate functions. We are empowering employees across the company, ranging from our frontline flying staff to ground crew with the best technology capabilities to help them excel at their jobs. We are adopting a cloud-only, mobile-friendly, design-rich, AI-infused, digital-first approach to all our technology initiatives that we are executing with speed,” said Air India’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Dr. Satya Ramaswamy. “We are very grateful for the goodwill and support from our technology and services partners worldwide who are united by a shared passion to see Air India regain its glory and its rightful place among the world’s best airlines,” he added. 

Some of the key areas where Air India has already deployed new technology systems or is in advanced stages of deployment are:

Customer engagement: Website and mobile app modernisation, user-friendly customer notifications system, ChatGPT-driven chatbot, in-flight-entertainment system modernisation, customer service portal with real-time customer support request tracking, digital marketing, contact centre modernisation, disruption management and self-service reaccommodation, customer feedback and analysis.

Employee empowerment: Modern secure digital workplace tools, employee engagement and self-service portals, mobile devices for pilots, cabin crew and airport operations crew, learning and development tools, automated crew pairing and rostering, crew management and crew disruption management, paper elimination via digitisation and electronic contracts.

Operational improvements: Modern passenger service system and departure control system, sales system modernisation, engineering management system, flight planning and tracking, aircraft movement management, disruption management, turnaround management, fuel management and sustainability, safety management, and reporting systems.

Enterprise systems transformation: Core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system modernisation, human resource management, procurement, materials management, digital infrastructure, and cloud migration.

The modernisation of Air India’s digital and technology landscape will also benefit all the group airlines including the low-cost carriers. Emphasis is also being laid on having common systems across the full-service and the low-cost segments to gain from economies-of-scale and economies-of-learning across all the group airlines, driven by common platforms and a shared world-class team.

About Air India:

Founded by the legendary JRD Tata, Air India pioneered India’s aviation sector. Since its first flight on October 15, 1932, Air India has an extensive domestic network and has spread its wings beyond to become a major international airline with a network across USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Far-East, South-East Asia, Australia and the Gulf. Air India is a member of Star Alliance, the largest global airline consortium. After 69 years as a Government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were welcomed back into the Tata group in January 2022. The present management at Air India is driving the five year transformation roadmap under the aegis of Vihaan.AI to establish itself as a world-class global airline with an Indian heart.

Vihaan.AI is Air India’s transformational roadmap over five years with clear milestones.  It will be focusing on dramatically growing both its network and fleet, developing a completely revamped customer proposition, improving reliability and on-time performance. The airline will also be taking a leadership position in technology, sustainability, and innovation, while aggressively investing in the best industry talent. Vihaan.AI is aimed at putting Air India on a path to sustained growth, profitability and market leadership.

About the Tata Group:
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising 30 companies across ten verticals. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’. 

Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation, and art and culture. In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion (INR 7.7 trillion). These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of $314 billion (INR 23.4 trillion) as on December 31, 2021. Companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Titan, Tata Capital, Tata Power, Tata Communications, Indian Hotels, Tata Digital and Tata Electronics.  

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