By Aditi Shah
NEW DELHI/BENGALURU (Reuters) -Tata Group on Thursday unveiled a new logo, branding and plane livery for Air India as part of a multi-million dollar transformation of the former state-run carrier.
The airline’s new logo includes a design with golden, red and purple colours, and will replace the old logo of a red swan with orange spokes.
The rebranding by Tata, which comes after years of under-investment under government control, will not completely do away with the iconic mascot of a cheerful Maharaja in a red turban and with an outsized moustache.
It would stay on in some elements of the design, but would not be as prominent, CEO Campbell Wilson said, adding that all of the airline’s widebody planes will be refurbished with the new livery by 2025.
Since taking control in 2022, Tata has spent millions of dollars to update Air India’s old planes, while also placing an order for hundreds of new jets.
It has also upgraded many of its paper-based systems and streamlined operations to better compete with domestic rival IndiGo and global airlines like Emirates.
“The vision we have for the airline is also in the backdrop of a new resurgent India where the aspirations of everyone are limitless,” Air India chairperson N. Chandrasekaran said.
Over the past year, Air India has expanded its network and flights to several new domestic and international destinations, but it still faces challenges in operating a seamless and timely schedule of flights.
As the airline grows, CEO Wilson said, it wanted to move beyond the Maharaja, which may not be as well known outside India, while retaining the elements of the mascot that spell hospitality and service.
(Reporting by Aditi Shah in New Delhi and Navamya Ganesh Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)