Mumbai becomes AI’s second hub
Having moved its entire operations to Mumbai’s international airport from October 1 despite higher rentals, Air India has now made Mumbai its secondary hub in the region.
Just a couple of months into the job, ‘Turnaround man’ Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India, likes the challenge he has decided to take up. “It’s a good job. All of us know what needs to be done,” he says.
To start with, he is looking at improving the OTP (on-time performance). “It is fairly decent right now at about 85-90 but it has to be much higher. We also want to improve passenger convenience, better information systems, and improving utilisation. We are also looking at new routes and have looked at a new route recently but it’s a complicated exercise and it’s too early to reveal it,” he says, adding, “The work culture also has to improve, but I don’t think interference from the government is an issue. There are definite plans to improve and upgrade the products.”
A total of 63 Air India flights have been shifted to Mumbai’s Terminal 2 (T2) – 11 international and 52 domestic. This integration will not only help the national carrier offer ease of transfer to its passengers, but will also be a big thing for Mumbai.
Star Alliance has already booked 1,000 flights per week. Mark Schwab, CEO, Star Alliance, says, “There are 11 Star Alliance carriers operating into Mumbai and this integration gives them an opportunity as well to move their passengers seamlessly from T2 on the Air India network. It also allows this airport and the city to compete more effectively with other airports and other hubs in the region. It is just a matter of time when we will see not only more service, bigger airplanes but much larger number of connections happening through Mumbai.” Air India recently celebrated the first anniversary of its membership with Star Alliance.