Taj Group to help AIs staff makeover

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 14 2010, 04:28am hrs
National Aviation Company of India (Nacil), that runs national carrier Air India, wants to utilise its human assets more efficiently, at a time when the carrier is all set to join Star Alliance, considered the worlds largest airline alliance. The carrier has plans to tie up with the country's renowned hospitality chain, the Taj Group of Hotels, for service standard training and the makeover of its cabin crew and customer handling staff functions. The training will be imparted in batches for the concerned category.

The carrier has been conducting periodic customer satisfaction surveys through independent agencies. Nacil is getting aggressive to ensure market presence globally and domestically too, says an official in the know. The carrier has around 3,500-4,000 cabin crew staff and a market share of 17.7%. In 2007, AI had roped in fashion designer Ritu Beri to design a new uniform for its cabin crew and ground staff. The carrier that time said that it has gone in for a complete makeover to reflect its aspiration to be a powerful global entity. Kamaljit Rattan, CIO, Nacil told FE, Nothing concrete has been firmed up on this front. As and when something is finalised, we shall inform the media. Carriers of global repute have consistently gone in for service upgradation. Before 1983, there was much criticism of the level of service at British Airways. Since then, the carrier has moved to the position of being able to call itself, The worlds favourite airline. This took place through a series of staff programmes, with the aim to ensure that quality permeates through the entire organisation. According to officials at AI, the carrier aims to be among the top five airlines in Asia with unique offering to its customers. If customers are able to create memorable experience with us, it gives an edge over competing airlines. Also significant difference between services rendered amongst airlines determine the choice of a traveller, says an official.

In 2009, the airline's CMD, Arvind Jadhav had told mediapersons in New Delhi that the 3-year turnaround plan, amongst other steps, includes brand makeover and brand building. He had said further said that during the 36-month long turnaround plan, the carrier will tie up with major hospitality chains for service standard training and makeover for cabin crew, customer handling and sales function. Aggressive brand harmonisation across key customer interfaces will become the prime directive to increase brand loyalty, he had said.

Recently, JetLite, the former Air Sahara unveiled a new uniform for its staff as the airline commences a strategy of brand enhancement. Similarly, Indigo has also commenced an image revamp ahead of its planned international operations which are due to commence in late 2011.