Tatas Working on New Business Structure for Air India Express

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Mumbai: The Tata Group is in the final stages of stitching together a new business structure at Air India Express as it gets ready to streamline its business verticals under the airline with pay parity across the board for the merged entity of Air India Express and AirAsia India, three people aware of the development told Mint. “The low-cost airline is streamlining its business verticals and bringing in pay parity between the workforce of the two erstwhile airlines,” one of the people cited above said.

Last week, the airline harmonized and rolled out new grades, compensation, and benefits across the organization, enabling greater transparency and career progression opportunities for all employees. The airline said that the new pay compensation structure is aligned with the recently rolled out structure and grades at Air India.

An industry executive told Mint that the merged entity, awaiting final regulatory approvals from Competition Commission of India, is also establishing a linear structure under chief executive officer Aloke Singh. The new compensation for Air India Express and AIX Connect is also aimed at attracting and retaining the best talent across functions at the airline with a pay structure which is more market-linked and more competitive.

“The Air India Express employees had a legacy compensation structure and that is now getting restructured. The new compensation structure that will match the salaries of the two airlines will get rolled out within the next few weeks,” the executive added. “In some areas, the benefits of the Tata airline were more, while the overall compensation for Air Asia workforce had been higher. The new structure will bring in the parity,” a second executive added.

The changes in the low cost airlines come within months of salary restructuring of the merged entity of full cost carrier Air India and Vistara airlines.

While the Tata Group unveiled new logo and livery of Air India in early August, the conglomerate is also working to introduce a fresh brand identity of Air India Express by late September to early October. The first aircraft with the new branding of Air India Express will be launched in October when the airline gets its first new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Mint reported on 13 August.

In July, AirAsia India got an approval from the civil aviation regulator to operate its flights under the Air India Express brand. Mint reported on 25 July that AirAsia India has sought approvals from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to expedite the integration of the two airlines, including the rebranding from AirAsia India to Air India Express, allowing Air India Express and AIX Connect to operate under a common ‘Air India Express’, brand, ahead of the legal merger of the two entities.

Air India Express currently operates flights from 20 Indian cities to 14 regional international destinations, while AirAsia India serves 19 domestic destinations.

Air India Express, which has 26 Boeing 737 aircraft and 28 Airbus from AirAsia India, will add 23 new Boeing 737 Max by March-end. The planes are part of Air India’s order for 470 planes in February. The order included 190 Boeing 737 Max. Around 50 aircraft out of this order are expected to be inducted into Air India Express’s fleet soon, as the planes were in production for Chinese airlines. However, with those airlines deciding to delay induction due to weak travel sentiments post-covid, they will now be available for Air India.

Source: Live Mint