Air India's cost-cutting measures begin to kick-in, new booking system to connect Star Alliance members

New Delhi: With the merged entity National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) set to observe the first anniversary of the merger of the country's international and domestic air service providers Air India (AI) and Indian Airlines, it is now set to focus on increasing passenger comforts and slashing costs in an attempt to return the airline back to profitability. 

Last year on 24 August Air India and India Airlines ceased to be legal entities with the filing of the approval of the application for merger with the Registrar of Companies. The two carriers began functioning under the holding company NACIL.

Through its recently initiated cost-cutting measures, the merged flag carrier is also taking into account the increased competition on the routes that it operates, as well as the general downturn in the industry on account of high cost of travel.

It is being given to understand that the carrier is now in talks with short-listed service providers for the procurement of a Passenger Service System (PSS) which will help passengers make seamless booking across the network of the airline and also earn frequent flier advantages on any of the 21 airlines that are members of the global airline grouping, Star Alliance.

Air India has been invited to join Star Alliance which already has Lufthansa, Air Canada, British Midlands, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines as its members.

Air India is also adopting a recent innovation that sees aircraft reducing cruising speed in an effort to reduce fuel burn. AI has already implemented the policy on its Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777 aircraft and will take it forward on its Airbus 310 and Boeing 737 aircraft.

The airline has already begun to rationalise domestic and international routes and reducing the amount of material it carriers on its aircraft in an effort to reduce weight and save on fuel.

NACIL expects to make substantial savings as the effect of these measures begins to kick-in.