MUMBAI- 20th December, The Mayanagri or City of Dreams, Mumbai saw the biggest meet ever in Indian Aviation Industry, when TATA Air India Chairman N Chandrasekharan meet the Carsten Spohr, Chairman & CEO of world’s biggest airline in terms of employees, Lufthansa Group along with Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong to discuss the greatest tie up in global aviation industry. The news is exclusively reported by TOI.
Air India is actively in the Newsmedia after TATA’s takeover early this year. With TATA putting all the efforts to do complete makeover of Air India and merging all its subsidiary under single entity. With this Air India can have monopoly over long haul and Premium services.
Lufthansa shake hands with TATA Air India (AI)
The visit of Lufthansa Group chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr to India and meeting TATA Air India and Vistara executives have created a headline. Sophr met TOI Team and talked about the Mega futuristic plans.
The Singapore airlines looking to get 25.1% stake in Mighty and New Air India, the Lufthansa is looking to deepen roots and get a pie in Possibly the largest Indian Carrier in terms of value. With both star alliance members, they are going one step beyond codeshare and potentially towards working together in other aspects as well.
Sophr said “India has not had a proper seat at the (World) aviation table earlier. Air India with Singapore Airlines on one side looking east & Lufthansa Group looking westside has huge potential for big things, something that can change Indian aviation. As a partner it would be a privilege for Lufthansa Group to help bring TATA owned carrier to its rightful place on the global stage. Air India will get it. Country deserves it.”
An engineering graduate and CPL Holder, Sophr has been with Lufthansa group since 1994. First as a personal assistant to CEO, later various management roles. He as a Lufthansa pilot flew many times to India. In 2007, He Became CEO of Lufthansa Cargo division. Finally on 1 May 2014 he took over Christoph Franz as CEO of German Based Lufthansa AG.
While talking about Air India’s Potential, Sophr said, “the latest Demands post pandemic can allow AI to get fare share and redefine its position not only in Indian Market but at World stage. Till Today, the routes leading to Europe and USA has seen tremendous demands and used other hubs, as Middle east for connecting flights. So, India and its Former Flagship carrier AI should have fare market share.”
How will this Tie Up work Out?
The Geographical location of India helps it to become Hub and gateway for Europe, southeast Asia, and the southwest pacific countries. “Lufthansa is the commercial partners towards the far West and Europe, and Singapore airlines is the commercial partner towards the East. This is a very powerful triangle,” said Carsten.
With Lufthansa’s Western Partner United airlines, Ceo said, “will talk to our Trans-Atlantic partner about becoming the missing partner to turn it from a triangle to a rectangle. It’s good to have a bright partner in a stronger and competitive US market to be successful.”
The German Carrier is also looking at other opportunities apart from networking. This includes Aviation Training Centers to train Pilots, cabin crew and other staff, Maintenance facilities for Engineering Support.
TATA Air India’s Future plans
Earlier this week, the airline said that it will lease 6 more aircraft to enhance its operations. They have taken decision to lease 30 aircraft which includes, 21 A320, 4 A321 and 5 B777-200 LRs. The First B777-200LR has already joined its fleet having registration VT-AEF.
Air India has said that it will lease 6 B777-300 ERs. This will provide boost to connect more international destinations.
Commenting over the expansion plan, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson said,
“Growing our network is an essential part of Air India’s Vihaan.AI transformational journey and we remain committed to increasing connectivity and frequency of flights both domestically and internationally. These additional aircraft leases will support our near-term growth even as we finalize plans to refresh and significantly grow our long-term fleet.”Campbell Wilson, CEO & MD Air India
They will improve the fleet operations and will add more aircraft to expand its network. With Air India-Vistara Merger on the way they want to grow the airline and maintain same standard as Vistara.
Bottomline of Lufthansa Air India Tie Up
With billions of dollars, the Lufthansa Tie up with TATA Air India can change the economics in India. With Indigo having highest domestic market share, Air India can create a monopoly over North America, Europe and East Asian regions. As New AI has AI, AIX, Vistara which flies to these regions.
Time will tell us but, Lufthansa is dead serious about partnering with New Air India. We will have to wait further for official announcements. But with massive order of 500 planes, fleet refurbishment, Merger with Vistara, innovating with Microsoft, redesigning the Livery and logo, the Air India is all set to become greatest airline in the world again.
Air India is in good hands and only TATA can make it great again. Finally, every plan is working well for TATA and Air India.
Also Read, Air India received its First B777-200 LR and named “VIHAAN” | Exclusive – Aviation A2Z
Also Check out: Vistara will be a competitor to Air India until New Merger, says CEO Kannan – Aviation A2Z
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