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Air India's Rebranding to Soar Again

Cening Amaranggana
Cening Amaranggana

July 3, 2024

Tay Kae Fong

Air India has a long and storied history in India’s aviation sector. In 2022, the TATA Group regained ownership of the airline after 70 years under govt. control, marking the beginning of a new era. By the end of 2023, they announced a major rebranding of airline. The aim was to revitalize the airline’s image and distance it from the negative perceptions developed during its years under government management, potentially restoring its reputation and competitiveness in the global market.

Air India’s Problems

Air India has had a rough time in recent years, struggling with financial losses and a reputation for being late and providing poor service. Many people see it as a second-rate, outdated airline. Social media is full of complaints about broken seats, non-functional remotes, and inoperative in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens, especially in economy class. Cleanliness and service issues also come up frequently. Business class isn’t much better, with a cramped 2×3×2 layout that leaves passengers uncomfortable. When the Tata Group took over, they inherited planes that were grounded due to lack of maintenance and funds, along with the challenge of updating the fleet while dealing with constant social media feedback.


Solutions Through Strategic Rebranding

To tackle these issues, Air India launched a major rebranding effort that started with a modernisation initiative of a US$70 billion investment in 470new aircrafts from Airbus and Boeing. These planes will have upgraded cabins featuring business-class privacy doors, small bars, premium economy seating, and better coach seats.

The airline is also expanding its staff, hiring over 5,000 new employees, including 3,200 cabin crew and nearly 1,000 cockpit crew. They’ve implemented new compensation plans and rostering systems to boost morale and performance.

Source: FutureBrand

To tell the story of the new brand, Air India designed a new logo, livery, font, colour palette, and uniform collection for flight attendants and pilots. The brand is also enhancing its digital presence with a new website, mobile app, and 24/7 customer contact centre in multiple languages. Finally, are designed loyalty program is getting rolled out as well.

Early feedback is positive, praising the new Airbus A350 for its stunning cabin, excellent service, decent food, comfortable seating, and enhanced business class privacy.

Source: FutureBrand

What Rebranding meant for Air India

  • Fresh Start with Customers: Rebranding offers a fresh narrative to reconnect with customers, overcoming past negative experiences and building amore positive image.
  • Modernized Services: Upgrades in in-flight entertainment and overall service quality ensure amore enjoyable experience for passengers.
  • Enhanced Digital Presence: A new website and mobile app address old system issues, improving customer experience and boosting demand.
  • Strengthened Company Culture: Aligning company culture with the new brand fosters a customer-centric environment, moving away from past issues of poor maintenance and service complaints.
  • Improved Leadership Support: Rebranding provides an opportunity for leaders to connect more deeply with employees to drive change, ensuring a successful transformation.

When a company faces significant challenges, the key is to focus on issues that matter and take clear, targeted steps to meaningful change. After impactful change is put into action, creating a new brand will be help the company reap the benefits of the hard work by changing perceptions both internally and externally.



Air India under the Tata Group is going through a crucial turning point. They’ve got their first step right – conducting a strategic rebranding programme that goes beyond changing their brand identity to taking concrete steps to improve their customer experience.

In the months ahead, they must also make systemic changes to their workflow, e.g. improve maintenance records and incorporate regular customer surveys, for sustainable long-term improvements. Rebranding isn't a quick fix but a great chance to improve how the company operates from the inside-out.

Of course, the impact of rebranding is not immediate. It takes time to bring the new brand to life and for customers to acknowledge the changes. It also involves careful planning, execution, and ongoing communication with all stakeholders. If your business is thinking about rebranding, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a chat. We’re here to help you navigate the rebranding process and achieve your business goals.

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