Air India

Air India is the flag carrier airline of India and the third largest airline in India in terms of passengers carried, after IndiGo and Jet Airways. It is owned by Air India Limited, a Government of India enterprise and operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving 84 domestic and international destinations. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Air India has its main hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi and a secondary hub at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. Air India became the 27th member of Star Alliance on 11 July 2014.

Founded in 1932 by J. R. D. Tata and later renamed as Tata Airlines, he flew its first single-engine De Havilland Puss Moth, carrying air mail from Karachi to Bombay and later continuing to Madras (currently Chennai). After World War II, it became a public limited company and was renamed to Air India. On 21 February 1960, it included its first Boeing 707–420 named Gauri Shankar and became the first Asian airline to induct a jet aircraft in its fleet. In 2000–01, attempts were made to privatize Air India and from 2006 onwards, it suffered losses after its merger with Indian.

Air India also operates flights to domestic and Asian destinations through its subsidiaries Air India Regional and Air India Express. Air India uses the Airbus A320 family and Boeing 787 aircraft for selected domestic routes while long distance services use the Boeing 77 300ER, 747 and 787 aircraft. Air India's mascot is the Maharajah (Emperor) and the logo consists of a flying Swan with the wheel of Konark inside it.

Air India had its origin in Tata Sons, founded by J. R. D. Tata, an Indian aviator and business tycoon. In April 1932, Tata won a contract to carry mail for Imperial Airways and the aviation department of Tata Sons was formed with two single-engine De Havilland Puss Moths. On 15 October 1932, Tata flew a Puss Moth carrying air mail from Karachito Bombay (currently Mumbai) and the aircraft continued to Madras (currently Chennai) piloted by Neville Vincent, a former Royal Air Force pilot and friend of Tata. The airline fleet consisted of a Puss Moth aircraft and a Leopard Moth. Initial service included weekly airmail service between Karachi and Madras via Ahmedabad and Bombay. In its first year of operation, the airline flew 160,000 miles (260,000 km), carrying 155 passengers and 9.72 tonnes (10.71 tons) of mail and made a profit of 60,000(US$890). Later, the airline launched a domestic flight from Bombay to Trivandrum with a six-seater Miles Merlin. In 1938, it was re-christened as Tata Air Services and later as Tata Airlines. Delhi and Colombo were added to the destinations in 1938. During the Second World War, the airline helped the Royal Air Force with troop movements, shipping of supplies, rescue of refugees and maintenance of planes.

Air India flies to a total of 84 destinations including 48 domestic destinations and 36 international destinations in 24 countries across four continents around the world. Its primary hub is located at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, and it has a secondary hub at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai.

Air India Regional was established as Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian Airlines on 1 April 1996 and started operations on 21 June 1996. It was renamed Air India Regional after the merger between Air India and Indian Airlines. Air India Express began operations on 29 April 2005 and was initially owned by Air India Charters. It operates flights from South India to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It became the 27th member of Star Alliance on 11 July 2014. Air India has code-sharing agreements with 19 international airlines.