Air India's Premium Economy class has been long delayed, with rumors of it being introduced on several major long-distance flights in 2015. Despite being introduced by Eva Air in 1991 as an intermediate travel cabin across business and economy, Premium Economy gained popularity during the Great Recession (2007-2009), when foreign airlines' revenue from business class flight tickets fell to an all-time low.
Air India intends to provide premium economy-class service on select international long-haul flights. According to CEO Campbell Wilson, it will launch premium economy by this year's end.
It is part of AI's strategy to revitalize the brand and increase market share. The airline recently completed the restoration of roughly 20 aircraft grounded for years owing to a lack of parts and money.
Campbell Wilson stated that the Tata group-owned airline is looking for methods to increase its market share and worldwide network. Wilson remarked that the airline business would raise its market share to at least 30% on domestic and international flights while speaking at an event hosted by the JRD Tata Memorial Trust to commemorate JRD Tata's 118th birthday.
He added that Air India is undertaking a long-term restoration strategy, intending to expand its wide-body and narrow-body fleets as well as its worldwide network over the next five years.
"In the short term, we replaced carpets, drapes, seat cushions, and coverings." Repair faulty seats and in-flight entertainment systems as quickly as supply chains allow. And, if parts are no longer accessible on the market, collaborate with companies like Tata Technologies to design and manufacture parts.
"We just completely overhauled our domestic meals and will launch premium economy on some long-haul flights," Campbell Wilson explained. Wilson claims that the airline has restored roughly 20 planes that had been grounded for years owing to a shortage of parts and funds.
Aside from cabin furnishings, he noted that this had necessitated the procurement of over 30,000 parts that had been gobbled up over the years to keep other airplanes flying. In addition to returning long-stranded aircraft, he stated that the airline had finalized leases for 30 more aircraft, which will be delivered over the next 12 months beginning next week, with more in the final stages of the agreement.
"Aside from all these short-term additions, we are in strong negotiations with Boeing, Airbus, and other engine makers regarding a historic acquisition of next-generation aircraft to fuel Air India's medium- to long-term development. The investment will be large, at the risk of severe understatement, "he stated.
Approximately 1.47 million passengers boarded Air India aircraft in January 2020, with a market share of 11.6%.
The airline had a 10.2% market share in January 2022.With fewer travellers, the market has shrunk.
Vistara surpassed Air India in terms of market share beginning in March 2022.By June 2022, the market share had fallen to fifth place.
This is a significant aspect given that the market now has six main providers.These dips indicate that Air India could have fared better in traffic growth from January to May 2022.
TATA Group worked hard to improve the timeliness of flights and their services. Air India is notorious for its services, particularly punctuality and cuisine.
Because of its timeliness, this airline remained in the top four in January. It went from 81% to 92%. Another difference between January 2020 and January 2022 is that the airline moved from third to second place in the Indian airline rankings in January of this year.