Just as Air India is being prepared for its sale, the one who will successfully bid for the brand shall have a difficult road ahead. In all the possibilities, the brand shall continue to work. But, an aspect that makes it’s future problematic is the weight of its legacy.
The legacy goes back into its marvellous past. The history of Air India marks its high-quality service, luxurious interiors, and a golden chapter in the legacy of flying. After that, there was a period of average quality service and ordinary cabins with a bureaucratic setup that was filled with complications. This set of experiences and history might leave a negative effect on the mind of the customers preventing them from travelling further.
To cope up with this reluctance, the bidder will have to refresh the brand and engage with positive connections with customers. The big legacy of Air India can be very complicated to deal with in the future. In the case of Indian airlines, the need to develop a brand image has reduced and the need to enhance the customer experience has become important. There is a competition to provide a better and premium service that is a big challenge. The important part is to enhance the consumer experience that will increase the willingness for paying more to customers. This is the reason why even the most popular and old brands have been facing a crisis recently.
When it comes to Air India, it is a common name in the Indian Airline Industry. The name has been familiar among the masses for years now. The unusual legacy of complex situations of the airline has always found itself on the cover of all the major newspapers of the country. The general administration as well as mismanagement has been a topic of the Indian political sphere. Most of the Indians have experienced a flight on Air India in its countless years of flying and they have their views over it. Some passengers have loved the experience while others have their own set of negative views. It was the first flying experience for many citizens in the country.
The placed set of Restrictions!
The challenge for taking this brand ahead is developing new experiences in the mind of passengers who have negative interactions with the airlines. So, taking the brand ahead has a different set of restrictions. There will be restrictions while planning for future expectations and executing a new business model. There is a need to develop a consistency of positive experience. Another aspect that might be taken in favour of Air India will be the new setup of 5 hours flight with excess comfort. Airlines are introducing more flights between long distances and customers are drawn towards more comfort for this long flight. They will also try to avoid a stop at major Airport points in popular cities in international travel.
In this league, the two major Indian airlines operating are Vistara and Indigo after Jet Airways was grounded. So, Air India will have a good space to compete. Air India will also have to compete with international airlines like Emirates, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, etc. This competition can be won by providing more luxury to passengers and India’s heritage and hospitality will be a plus for Air India.
Still, managing the prices and providing competitive rates can be difficult. It is important to stay away from the idea that higher costs shall anyway bring higher profits should be ignored.
The legacy challenge!
Another task will be to cope up with the fast-paced changing industry trends. It will have to come out from its conventional shackles and make a place for it by changing its ways. For instance, apart from traditional advertising on TV and Radio, it will have to make itself a part of the new-gen by the use of internet advertising.
It will have to develop the age-old app and social media sites of Air India. After ongoing this change and refreshing itself, there is a need to open a new channel for feedback and customer relations. It will have to connect once again with the masses through feedback, reviews, social media, and complaint handling. Incorporating valuable reviews can help in further development.
The weight of its legacy is indeed difficult to deal with. But, at the same time re-designing and reestablishing itself in the market should be done by following the core values of the brand.
Consistency is good delivery, performance with efficient pricing, and luxurious service is the need of time. Furthermore, there is a dire need to stay aligned with the fast-paced industry needs and customer behaviour. In the end, customers have several other options and Air India will have to provide something unique to make customers choose it over others.