Air India to work on improving punctuality, says CEO

With an aim to improve its punctuality, Air India will be implementing several new measures like working towards its schedule and training its staff for improved coordination among other measures, Tata Air India chief executive officer (CEO) Campbell Wilson said on Friday. The airlines is already working on restoring its aircraft, improving spare parts and building in-house engineering.

He said the airline is also focusing on the root cause of delays and placing greater emphasis on the actions to prevent such recurrences. “It therefore behoves all of us to accurately report delays and their causes,” he said.

The airline will also work towards its schedule and train its staff for improved coordination, Wilson shared.

“The airline is also doing a full review of block times, airport connecting times, as well as aircraft and crew rotations,” Wilson said in an internal communication to the employees.

Air India has assessed the Northern Winter (from October 2022 to March 2023) schedule, based on which a cross-functional team — comprising network planning, cabin management system (CMS), engineering, ground services, integrated operations control centre (IOCC) among others — has been set up.

“A significant number of improvements have been identified, and we will now seek the airport slots necessary to affect these. Realistically, we are unlikely to get all the slot changes we’d like this season, but now that we know what we want, we can progressively refine season-by-season. And, most importantly, we now have a robust and cross-functional process to better plan future seasons’ schedules,” the internal communication read.

Highlightingthree associated work streams (schedule design, processed & systems, and organisation & people) supporting the airline’s improved on time performance (OTP), Wilson said several changes are being made “to improve our capabilities and effectiveness.” He said the airline will establish a passenger recovery and revenue retention cell.

The airline is assessing addition or improvement of operations control centre such as enhanced maintenance control coordination, cargo- load control- catering and air traffic control (ATC) coordination, he said.

Wilson said the airline is setting up an “airport coordination” team “to better understand airport-specific issues and improve communication”.

He added, “We have also introduced a nightly pre-planning meeting, so that IOCC can pre-emptively identify risks and develop solutions in conjunction with key stakeholders so that everybody has a heads up of potential problems and of the solutions that can be deployed quickly.”

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