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A call for Air India's Past Laurels - to inspire reinstation
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 3:33 pm    Post subject: A call for Air India's Past Laurels - to inspire reinstation Reply with quote

Howdy folks...
one gets to often hear about AI's past glories and it's ' great/classy little airline' sobriquet during the JRD days - of impeccable service by gracious air hostesses, spotless cabins, lip smacking menus and innovative marketing.

Might any of you have old articles/ pictures of AI from then, or any info of AI winning awards in the decades gone by - I do remember reading that it's Bombay-Cairo service was something even other airline staff would talk about. Remember reading eulogies in the Times of Zambia in the early 80s on how this was one of the world's most profitable airlines and so on...

Did it at anytime win the best airline of the year award?

Your priceless contributions from archives would be most welcome here - Who knows - it could probably inspire to press for AI's rejeuvenation...[color=darkblue]
[/color]


Last edited by RKRamesh on Sun May 02, 2010 2:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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HAWK21M
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AI can reach its past glory if:-
1.The Attitude of the Employees get positive.
2.Better Management.
3.Non political intereference.
4.Non reservations.
5.Not so high Allowances.
6.Much reduced Freebies for Employees.
7.Privatisation.
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air India International entered the jet age in 1960 when its first Boeing 707-420, named Gauri Shankar (registered VT-DJJ), was delivered. Jet services to New York City via London were inaugurated that same year on 14 May 1960. On 8 June 1962, the airline's name was officially truncated to Air India. On 11 June 1962, Air India became the world's first all-jet airline.


Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_India
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

25 years of International flying... 1973
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting flashbacks, thanks for posting!
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope AI gets the message Hawk - Youre welcome Spiderguy...

Another ancient pic of an AI Super Constellation at Aden, Khomasker in 1953...


Source http://rafinegyptandaden1950sduddings.co.uk/Khormaksar.aspx
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sammyk
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that is awesome!
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HAWK21M
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic classic pic there ramesh.
Interestly a unsupported single leg ladder placed on the Engine to climb onto the wing.
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject: Before Sush n Ash and Reita Faria Reply with quote

Thanks Sammy and Hawk,
I too found that Super Connie pic dramatic. Especially what looks like landing lights in the nose and the sinewy fuselage gracefully curving down with the AI cheatline and the jauntily angled centaur certainly add to the speed and drama of the livery from this view point.

And now an interesting anecdote...talking abour international beauty titles. Even before Reita Faria Won the Miss world in 1966 a charming Ms. Reeta Roy won the Miss International Air Hostess in 1964 ...

Those were the days when the flight attendants were called Air Hostesses. In 1964, Air India Air Hostess, Miss Reeta Roy of Mumbai competed with other 15 air hostesses at an event held in Brisbane, Australia. She was the winner.

Another feather in AI's cap.
source http://onlybombay.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive.html


Last edited by RKRamesh on Mon May 10, 2010 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A series of vintage ads by AI from her glory days

Source : http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/search?q=Air+India&page=2
(A delightful site collating airline ad's from decades gone by)


AI's Super Connie Ad - 1950s


Our Turban's in the air - 1960



Air India Airlines Pilot J R D Tata Photo - 1966


AI's brand spanking new 747s - 1971


Air India – It’s Been Like This Since She Flew - 1978
On cloud nine - Ha ha - witty and funny


Last edited by RKRamesh on Mon May 10, 2010 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An AI 707 in what appears to be her earliest livery - very similar to the Super Connies livery - The triangular swan on the tail was yet to make it's appearence...

source:http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/filmi_sangeet/film_song_1962.html



The subsequent livery on her 707s were really a lot more bold and attractive methinks.


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HAWK21M
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great collection of memories ramesh....
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The updated Livery but same Air -India font...
on Nanga Parbat seen here at NY in 1970


Air India entered the jet age on 21 February 1960 with this aircraft. The updated livery with the now famous AIR INDIA font
seen at Heathrow in 1976 on Gaurishankar.Tragically she crashed on approach into Bombay 6 years later...She was VT-DJJ Annapurna the first 707 inducted into AI - rechristened Gaurishankar after a minor fire on a calcutta flight.


Interestingly when 707 no. 1 Annapurna VT-DJJ was rechristened Gaurishankar, 707 no. 2 which was called Gaurishankar at that time was rechristened Nanadevi.

Looks like Gaurishankar was an unlucky name for AI as both these aircraft were w/o in crashes...

An interesting anecdote here from http://www.airwhiners.net/whine_cheez/20040726.htm

On 23 January 1971, "Nandadevi" (nee Gaurishankar mk.1) was being used for pilot training at Bombay airport. During one go-around, Capt. Hosali attempted to simulate a 3-engined takeoff with #4 engine out but Capt. Kapadia failed to compensate appropriately and the aircraft ran off the runway. #3 and #4 engine struck a fixed object and were torn off. The aircraft was destroyed by fire but all aboard escaped without injury.

On 22 June 1982, "Gaurishankar" (nee Annapurna mk.1) was attempting to land at Bombay airport in a rainstorm. The co-pilot flared the aircraft too early and she touched down hard, hydroplaning on a patch of water. When go-around thrust was applied by Capt. Goodwin there was insufficient runway left to take off. The aircraft ran off the runway into a drainage ditch. The tail empennage separated from the fuselage and collapsed onto the rear section of the plane. Cabin crew Sampat Kumar and Elizabeth Job as well as 15 passengers were killed. The remaining 10 crew and 84 passengers survived the accident.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion AI should come out with a retro livery on one of it's birds. It would be apt. Every other airline is at it- TG, AF, KL, LH etc. AI has had very few special liveries IIRC. I can only remember that 2007 AIDS campaign on an A320...
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con spirito
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!! Nice bit of information RKRamesh.
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some old AI ads.





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AirIndia0001
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramesh, thanks for creating this thread and sharing such a wonderful collection.

Not sure whether the following fits the bill but sharing it anyway.
Spotted this old poster in a narrow passage-way inside a building in Nehru Place, South Delhi.
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Varun, a retro livery is asking for a drum roll at AI - but which one? - the one on the 707 or the Constellation is the question.
Thanks con spirito.
Interesting contributions Himmat and AirIndia0001...

Air India were quite avant garde in her JRD hey day 50s - 70s i hear...
Another old scan to indicate their chutzpah.


source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_zfDuy4-yDB8/Sq6quT5MvRI/AAAAAAAAEEE/Vjm475x89Do/s1600-h/1940s-air-india-air+hostess.jpg

Another prominent AI hoarding on the prestigious Orchard Street in Singapore of the 70s at http://thelongnwindingroad.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/air-india-ad.jpg


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CHS
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG! These are absolutely amazing! Please keep them coming in. Thank you so much for these! Very Happy
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HAWK21M
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic pics.
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vikramv2
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant stuff...Beautiful memories of AI in the yesteryear. I really hope AI can be restored to some of her past glory...AI was just simply glorious to fun at that time i guess. I myself flew my first time in the late 80s...
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AirIndia0001
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fondly remeber the 4-page color pullout which Air India had released at the launch of its first B747-400. On the outside 2 pages, it detailed the features of the new 744 while the inside centre-fold carried the image of the 744 in AI colours with the words 'The Queen of the Skies'.
I had preserved it for many years till the time it got misplaced due to my family shifting house Sad
If any member here has a copy then please do scan it and share.
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your enthusiatic rejoinders gentlemen - certainly helps me keep going.

Here is a rather less antiquated advert... beautifully presented in nice graphics


source: http://sandeepmakam.blogspot.com/2006/07/air-india-maharaja.html


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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And some more from the Really Olden Days


Fly with me beckons the curvacious AI connie
From Nov 1 1948


From the early 50s


April 51


And the International tag is finally dropped in July 1959


Here comes the Jet age - the sleek and striking Boeing 707 featured in Feb and April '61


The Last of the older Air-India font in 1st July 1970


In comes the racy bold new font (I dare say it looks almost like it was inspired by the Boeing font - but me likey - I am far from complaining Smile )
The heralds the arrival of our good ol AI mumbo Jumbo - Boeing 747 the gigantic new flying wonder of the 70s. The slim line editions are not as colourful as the previous ones.




Source http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/ai.htm


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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This ones a big Imdage so might take some time to load...
I had to paste the bigger one for legibility - if you guys prefer thumbnails from links do let me know. Same source as above.

The Magic Carpet Routes Sep 1950


The Interiors of this brochure - Timing


And the fare Structure from a half century ago
London - Bombay £139/- is not that much cheaper than todays off peak £150/- So one can imagine the princely impact of these figures in 1950
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: The Maharaja - the most recognisable mascot the world over Reply with quote


THE now familiar lovable figure, the Maharaja, first made his appearance way back in 1946, when Bobby Kooka, then A-I’s Commercial Director, and Umesh Rao, an artist with the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Ltd, Mumbai, together created the Maharaja. Kooka conceived the idea of the Maharaja as an illustration for his letterhead. Bobby Kooka, who created the Maharaja, passed away in July 1996.

Eventually, it became Air-India’s mascot for its advertising and sales promotion activities. It became a symbol with which the national carrier is identified even today.

The Maharaja began merely as a rich Indian potentate, symbolising graciousness and high living. And somewhere along the line his creators gave him a distinctive personality, his outsized moustache, the striped turban and his aquiline nose.

What began as a design for an in-flight memo pad grew to take Air-India’s sales and promotional messages to millions of travellers across the world.

Today, this naughty, diminutive Maharaja of Air-India has become a world figure. He can be a lover boy in Paris, a sumo wrestler in Tokyo, a pavement artist, a Red Indian, a monk. He can effortlessly flirt with the beauties of the world. And most importantly, he can get away with it all. Simply, because he is the Maharaja.


He has become the most recognisable mascot the world over. His antics, his expressions, his puns have allowed Air-India to promote its services with a unique panache and an unmatched sense of subtle humour. In fact, he has won numerous national and international awards for Air-India for humour and originality in publicity.

And, as with all great men, he too has had his critics. But the millions of travellers whose lives he has touched far outnumber them. In fact, to them, the Maharaja, with his inimitable style, charm and wit, is a very real person.



Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050717/spectrum/main4.htm
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: The AI Logo - THe Centaur Reply with quote

The Old and the New Centaur
at http://www.logodesignworks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/air-india-mascot-design.jpg

Air-India’s earliest long-range planes were Lockheed Constellations, the first one taking off in 1948. With the new planes came a new logo, and the plan was go with a constellation theme. The centaur, representative of Sagittarius, was a logical choice because it suggested movement, strength, and somewhat resembled the farohar, a Parsi heavenly symbol featuring a winged man, like a guardian angel. The Parsis are a Zoroastrian sect of the Subcontinent — of which Air-India’s founding family, the Tatas, were members — and their farohar is a sign of good luck. Furthermore, incarnation of the Sagittarius brings forth, in the mind of many Indians, images of the master archer Arjuna from the mythological epic Mahabharata. Whatever the exact reasoning, the emblem was adopted and has remained.

Source http://desidreaming.wordpress.com/2007/01/20/a-lament-for-air-india/
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AIR INDIA FAN
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

air india articles from magazines.





air india article from india today.






air india article from india today about pilots strike.





from airways magazine.




about mumbai airport.





my collection of air india ads.

indian airlines 1987 advertisment.

indian airlines 1994 advertisment.

air india mumbai-newyork nonstop advertisment.

air india special summer fares advertisment.

air india chicago advertisment.

air india london advertisment.

air india newyork advertisment.

air india paris advertisment.
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! Thanks for this amazing collection AI Fan - you have certainly outdone yourself.

A small plea that the next time would be nicer if the scans were a bit more legible in content. But thanks for this all the same Smile
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AIR INDIA FAN
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RKRamesh wrote:
WOW! Thanks for this amazing collection AI Fan - you have certainly outdone yourself.

A small plea that the next time would be nicer if the scans were a bit more legible in content. But thanks for this all the same Smile



Sorry RKramesh about the quality of pictures.
these are not scans,but are pictures from my nokia mobile.
actually,i dont owe a scanner.
but,i will try to upload a legible version of the AI articles.


regards.
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Air India Fan, no need to be sorry - your enthu and attitude more than compensate - if you are unable to scan them, then even a post of these interesting articles will certainly keep the thread going.

I found this interesting rejoinder which i personally think about too - Why doesn't the Govt give AI back to those they snatched it from. To those that did such a wonderful job of flying her enchanting Magic Carpet...

wishful idealistic thinking?...perhaps; but impossible? I'd say not...

Even if they dont want to sell it to the Tatas - at least they can get them to manage it again it again like JRD Tata did. The emotional bond still remains between Tata & Sons and AI and they might be willing to give a bit more than others to get AI soaring again.


Responding to this oldish article which still makes sense me thinks
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/asian-skies/2009/06/indias-maharajah-needs-new-clo.html
heres is what one Mr.Santosh Kumar had to say which I thought made a lot of sense...

By Santhosh Kumar
on June 27, 2009 3:44 PM | Reply
I have few suggestions for regaining Air India's (AI) past glory:-
(1) Give back AI to its creators TATAs for Re. 1
(2) Give US$ 2m per annum as bonus for next 5 years to TATAs for taking over this "liability" and tax payer can save US$ 790m. Give TATAs a tax break for 5 years as an incentive too.
(3) Give a free hand to TATAs to hire, fire and motivate staff.
(4) Those who want to go on strike (obviously those inefficient lot who don't want to work only go for stike in this case) for this "henious" act be given the option of early retirement with 50% of salary paid by Govt. or to migrate to any other non-aviation vacanies available within Govt. of India.

If we do this we could once again see the Maharaja in its past glory.

Sathosh

I'd think the Govt. may differ on the AI price of Re. 1/- Smile when handing it back to the Tatas management... but the other points are certainly worth considering.

A Tata Airlines Puss Moth (only as big as the 707's engine) in front of the glorious AI men and their magnificent 707.

http://www.tata.com/company/Articles/inside.aspx?artid=IpLh5hXoHgw=
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Tata Airlines treasure from http://ultrabrown.com/posts/tata-airlines:

In case you folks cannot see the images below please click the above link^

It’s comforting to know that back in the days before Air India got its name, Punjabis were still slipping the flight attendants their phone numbers,


Brahmins were still demanding special dietary treatment....


and godmen (not sure if he really was a Godman) were rarely as frugal as they appeared.


Charming AI Air hostesses of yesteryears - notice the single winged AI Badge.
[img]http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/676d36e3207f73e3_landing[/img]
[img]http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/8a31dbeb966011c4_landing[/img]
[img]http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/42f114422fe36731_landing[/img]

An AI Air Hostess Monica Gilbert with the publicity director Qasi Isa after a flight.
[img]http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/28b3e46cdd0ec3d6_landing[/img]
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JRD re enacted the the historic Oct 15th 1932's first flight in India from Karachi to Bombay via Ahmedabad in 1962 and then 1982 as seen here

at http://onlybombay.blogspot.com/2009/01/tata-airlines-precursor-to-air-india.html


Tata Airlines Route Map (exterior) circa 1939

Tata Airlines Route Map (interior) circa 1939
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting Timetable and fare chart for AI on the 14th June 1947...
at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Airlines
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AI's Vickers Viking in 1946 flying the New Delhi - Moscow route.


http://www.funonthenet.in/forums/index.php?topic=157914.0
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AIR INDIA FAN
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that right,AI new logo comes from combining logos of AI and IC?

found this on internet.

Please solve the problem.



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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Air India Fan,
the current AI logo is inspired by the earlier (yet to be launched new) AI and newer Indian liveries..

“The logo of the new airline is a red coloured flying swan with the `Konark Chakra' in orange, placed inside it. The flying swan had been morphed from Air India's characteristic logo, `The Centaur', whereas the `Konark Chakra' was reminiscent of Indian's logo”.

The new logo would feature prominently on the tail of the aircraft. While the aircraft will be ivory in colour, the base will retain the red streak of Air India. Running parallel to each other will be the orange and red speed lines from front door to the rear door, subtly signifying the individual identities merged into one. The brand name `Air India' will run across the tail of the aircraft.

This was supposed to have been AI's livery before it was merged with Indian. This is a picture of the actual aircraft and not a photoshop job. The merged livery was repainted on her before final delivery.
...Perhaps the shortest lived livey painted on an aircraft for a major airline Smile

Pic from http://www.flickr.com/photos/boeing/382727968/in/photostream/

And this was the striking Indian livery then...

Pic courtsey Kalle Anka http://www.flickr.com/photos/astroboi/1522217251/

The new one is an amalgamation of the above two.
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air India was very avant garde with it's ads in those days.

Hilarious though this poster was - I also wonder if turning the maharaja into a buxom bar maid was pushing things a bit - circa 1968.
Pic courtsey scleroplex at http://www.flickr.com/photos/scleroplex/399198098/


Dont look now, but I'd say AI was certainly doing well then. What with such a healthy bottom line(s) Laughing Embarassed not to mention a ear or two for customer service !!! God save the queen indeed! Har-de-har har !
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:27 pm    Post subject: 'Air India award-winning ads' Reply with quote

Air India’s smile high club

Forget the bottomline and upaid salaries for the moment. Forget also the dowdy sarkari image. India’s national air carrier, Air India has picked up a Silver Outdoor Lion at Cannes for its tongue-in-cheek ads on the benefits of international travel (Bangalore-Dubai and Mumbai-New York). The campaign was developed by DDB Mudra (Bangalore) by chief creative officer Bobby Pawar. Clearly, a lot can happen during an international flight. Someone up there still has a sense of humour.
http://www.asianwindow.com/tag/air-india-award-winning-ads/


[/b]
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject: The Amazing soul- JRD Tata Reply with quote

Spirit of the skies - JRD Tata


http://itleaders.blogspot.com/2007/02/spirit-of-skies-jrd-tata.html
For two generations and more, JRD Tata epitomised a way of life and a culture of business that cared, without thought of reward or riches, for the country and its people.

As an adolescent JRD loved France and flying more than anything else. By the time he stepped into the autumn of his existence he had devoted some 50 years to heading and defining a unique business conglomerate, and just as long to championing the interests of India and her myriad people. The evolution, from a thoughtful if self-indulgent young man to a pan-Indian icon revered even by those who knew little about business, contains the essence of the JRD story.

The first of JRD's big adventures in business was born of his childhood fascination for flying. He had grown up in France watching the famous aviator Louis Bleriot's early flights, and had taken a joyride in an airplane as a 15-year-old. In 1929 JRD became one of the first Indians to be granted a commercial pilot's licence. A year later a proposal landed at the Tata headquarters to start an airmail service that would connect Bombay, Ahmedabad and Karachi. JRD needed no prompting, but it would take Peterson to convince Dorabji Tata, then chairman of the Tatas, to let the young ace have his way.

In 1932 Tata Aviation Service, the forerunner to Tata Airlines and Air India, took to the skies. The first flight in the history of Indian aviation lifted off from Drigh Road in Karachi with JRD at the controls of a Puss Moth. JRD nourished and nurtured his airline baby through to 1953, when the government of Jawaharlal Nehru nationalised Air India. It was a decision JRD had fought against with all his heart.

The Air India saga certainly hurt JRD, but he wasn't the kind to bear a grudge. Nehru insisted that he continue to head the national carrier and that's what JRD did, right up to 1977, when another act of government forced him out. Indira Gandhi, when she came back to power, reinstated JRD to the chairmanship, but by then he no longer had the appetite for the responsibility.

Air India was never just a job for JRD; it was a labour of love. Tata executives would always be complaining — in private, undoubtedly — that their chairman spent more time worrying about the airliner than he did running all of the Tata Group. JRD's ardour for and commitment to Air India was what made it, at least while he was at the helm, a world-class carrier. Wrote Anthony Simpson in his book Empires of the Sky: "The smooth working of Air India seemed almost opposite to the Indian tradition on the ground… [JRD] could effectively insulate Air India from the domestic obligation to make jobs and dispense favours."

The qualities that JRD brought to the running of Air India were as much in evidence in his steering of the Tata Group. The 'permit raj' era created a difficult, if not hostile, environment for ethical entrepreneurship. The socialist dogma of the time insisted that capitalism was a creature that had to be rigidly controlled, to be tolerated but never trusted. JRD and the Tata Group were certainly stymied by the political tenets and orthodoxy of the period.

His passing away was certainly the end of an epoch for industrializing India.
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