Air India, owned by the Tata Group, is stepping up its investment in information technology to enhance efficiency, a news report in Reuters.com has revealed.
Air India, until recently tied to a manual pricing system when setting airfares, is shifting to algorithm-based software long used by rivals to help it squeeze out more revenue from each flight.
Air India is also testing ChatGPT, OpenAI’s popular chatbot, to replace paper-based practices.
Air India aims to capture customers from Dubai’s Emirates and domestic rival IndiGo.
Air India is reworking every aspect of operations – from systems to supply chains – but integrating four Tata-related airlines, with Air India due to merge with Vistara while low-cost Air India Express and AirAsia India also converge.
Modern revenue management software aims to stay ahead of demand, continuously anticipating where people want to go and how much each individual flyer is prepared to pay, rather than the old method of having one fare for each block of seats.
The result is higher revenue per flight, making it low-hanging fruit in the company’s transformation.
Air India Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson’s game plan is to tackle pressing problems to get idle planes flying before Air India starts receiving the 470 jets ordered in a record deal last month.
Air India is working with Tata Technologies to build locally some plastic components for economy-class seats instead of waiting for suppliers to deliver the obsolete parts.
Air India has concluded the first phase of its five-year transformation plan, Vihaan.AI.
The focus of the initial phase called Taxi was on addressing legacy issues of the flag carrier at scale and laying the foundation for future growth.
The conclusion marked the beginning of Take Off, the second phase of transformation which is focused on developing the platforms, processes and systems needed to build toward excellence.
Air India’s record-setting aircraft order, the commitment of $400 million to refurbish existing aircraft, the investment of $200 million in new IT and the recruitment of thousands of staff are part of Taxi phase.
On the digital front, $200 was being invested in upgrading IT systems which included implementing Salesforce for CRM integration and upgradation of SAP ERP system from obsolete mainframe to the cloud; upgradation of the website; employee self-service systems; learning management systems; safety management system; world-class rostering; and day-of-ops systems as also introducing iPads across the fleet to better empower crew and improve processes.
Meanwhile, the second Take Off phase will focus on building the right platforms and progress faster based on the momentum that has been established.