Air India, Chief Executive Campbell Wilson said on Monday that the airline will let go of the Vistara brand after the merger. Wilson attributed the move to the global popularity of the Air India brand.
It may be noted that Air India has begun the integration process for the merger of Air India and Vistara and it is expected to complete by March 2024.
He also revealed that the record 470 planes ordered from Boeing and Airbus a few days ago have a list price of $70 billion. The company intends to fund the purchase with a combination of internal cash flow, shareholder equity, and aircraft sale and leaseback.
Integration Process Underway
Wilson revealed during a virtual media briefing that the integration of Vistara and Air India is already underway and is awaiting approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
Air India Express and AIX Connect, formerly known as AirAsia India, are also being integrated. Wilson emphasised that Air India has “enormous” potential and that efforts are being made to make the company a major international player.
Historic Order of New Aircraft
It is worth noting here that earlier this month, Air India announced a historic order for 470 planes, 250 from Airbus and 220 from Boeing. Wilson called the order “transformational,” adding that the planes would begin entering the fleet at the end of this year and continue until the end of the decade.
The new planes are expected to fuel significant network and capacity expansion, but there is no timetable for purchasing an additional 370 planes.
Lessons Learned from the Pee-Gate Incident
Wilson acknowledged the pee-gate incident, in which a drunk passenger urinated on an elderly passenger during a flight from New York to Delhi on November 26, 2022.
Wilson expressed regret for the airline’s shortcomings and stated that the incident had taught the company valuable lessons.
The decision by Air India to drop the Vistara brand following the merger reflects its confidence in the Air India brand’s global popularity. The integration of Vistara and Air India, as well as Air India Express and AIX Connect, is currently underway and will position the company as a major player in the international market.
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