Indian Airlines or Indian (Hindi: इंडियन एयरलाइंस or इंडियन) was an airline based in Delhi, India and focused primarily on domestic routes, along with several international services to neighbouring countries in Asia. Indian Airlines is state-owned, and is administered by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Its main bases are Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai, Chennai’s Meenambakkam Airport and Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in Kolkata .
Though the company that ownes and operates the airline continues to be named Indian Airlines Limited, on 7 December 2005, the airline was rebranded as Indian or इंडियन for advertising purposes as a part of a program to revamp its image in preparation for an initial public offering (IPO). The airline operates closely with Air India, India's national carrier. Alliance Air, a fully-owned subsidiary of Indian Airlines, was renamed Air India Regional.
In February 2007, the Government of India approved plans to merge Indian Airlines with Air India. The merger process is currently underway.
Seven former independent domestic airlines, Deccan Airways, Airways India, Bharat Airways, Himalayan Aviation, Kalinga Airlines, Indian National Airways and Air Services of India, were merged to form the new domestic national carrier. Indian Airlines Corporation inherited a fleet of 99 aircraft including 74 Douglas DC-3 Dakotas, 12 Vickers Vikings, 3 Douglas DC-4s and various smaller types from the seven airlines that made it up.
Vickers Viscounts were introduced in 1957 with Fokker F27 Friendships being delivered from 1961. The 1960s also saw Hawker Siddeley HS 748s, manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, join the fleet.
The jet age began for IAC with the introduction of the pure-jet Sud Aviation Caravelle airliner in 1964, followed by Boeing 737-200s in the early 1970s. April 1976 saw the first three Airbus A300 wide-body jets being introduced. The regional airline, Vayudoot, which had been established in 1981, was later reintegrated.
By 1990, Airbus A320s were introduced. The economic liberalisation process initiated by the Government of India in the early 1990s ended Indian Airlines' dominance of India's domestic air transport industry. Indian Airlines faced tough competition from Jet Airways, Air Sahara (now Jet Lite), East-West Airlines and ModiLuft. As of 2005, Indian Airlines was the second largest airline in India after Jet Airways while Air Sahara controlled 17% of the Indian aviation industry.
East-West Airlines and ModiLuft discontinued flight operations but the entry of several low-cost airlines in India, souch as Air Deccan, SpiceJet and others like Kingfisher Airlines continue to give competition in its market, forcing Indian to cut down air-fares. However, as of 2006, Indian Airlines was still a profit making airline.
Indian Airlines Limited is wholly owned by the Government of India through a holding company and has 19,300 employees as of March 2007. Its annual turn-over, together with that of its subsidiary Alliance Air, is well over Rs.4000 crores (around US$ 1 billion). Together with its subsidiary, Alliance Air, Indian Airlines carries a total of over 7.5 million passengers annually.
On 22 February 2007, the Group of Ministers (GoM) approved the merger of state-owned carriers, Air India and Indian Airlines. Operating under the name Air India, the two airlines formally became one entity on 15 July 2007 upon receiving the new Boeing 777-200LR with the new livery of the merged airline. The new airline's headquarters will remain in Mumbai, and will have a fleet of over 130 aircraft.
In December 2007, Air India was invited to join the Star Alliance. Since Indian Airlines is in the midst of merging with Air India, it too will effectively be a member.
|CFM 56||122-144||Domestic||Operated by Air India under IC Code|
|IAE V2500||146||Domestic||23 Owned,25 Leased.Operated by Air India under IC Code|
|CFM 56||172||Domestic,Asia||Operated by Air India under IC Code|
The aircraft livery used while the company was called Indian Airlines was one of the longest in terms of time. Its aircraft were mainly white. The belly was in light metallic grey. Above the windows, "Indian Airlines" was written in English on one side and Hindi on other. The tail was bright orange, with its logo in white. In most of the aircraft, the logo was also painted on the engines over its bare metal colour. Also, when the company was under the title of Indian Airlines, to celebrate its 50th year of service the airline put the slogan "50 years of flying" in gold on many of their aircraft.
After the name change to Indian, the company's aircraft was sporting a new look inspired by the Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. The tail of their aircraft had a partial blue wheel since practically 3/4 of the remainder is cut off. The wheel is over an orange background with the carrier's name "Indian" written in English on one side of the fuselage, and in Hindi on the other.
On 15 May 2007, the Government of India released the new livery, which was sent to Boeing in Seattle to repaint all the new fleet coming into the new Air India. The design is a cross between the Air India and Indian Airlines livery. The old fleets of Air India and Indian Airlines will also slowly be painted in the new livery.
There have been at least 12 fatal events in the history of Indian Airlines and Indian.
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