Air India in major makeover mode

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai, Sep 7 | Updated: Sep 8 2007, 05:40am hrs
The National Aviation Company of India Ltd (Nacil), formed after the merger of state-owned Air India and Indian Airlines, has launched a Rs 100-crore brand-building exercise for Air India.

Apart from running advertisements in leading travel magazines and newspapers to announce the recently launched Mumbai-New York flight, the company has also launched a television campaign centred around the Boeing 777-200LR deployed on the flight. Nacil is also highlighting the international destinations it plans to add to its winter schedule.

Air India CMD V Thulasidas said, Its a make or break situation for Air India and we are sure to emerge winners. The advertising budget accounts for nearly 0.5-0.75% of the expected revenues of Rs 1,600 crore of the merged entity.

Advertisements publicising the airline and its convenient schedules will be aired mainly on business channels and newspapers. Already, some ads on The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have generated a good response, said S Venkat, director-finance/PR of Air India.

He said of the 2.5 million Indians settled in the US, a million plan a round-trip to the homeland every year. Our target is to cater to 40% of this market. Besides, there are students going to the US and IT professionals travelling to San Francisco, said Venkat, adding that the company is also looking at corporate travellers, holidaymakers and professionals.

Venkat said the advertisements would lucidly convey the message of a comfortable journey with extraordinary in-flight service and attractive fares. We have roped in a renowned musician to develop a signature tune, he said.