Air India vs Kingfisher Airlines
Aviation has come of age in India and today the skyline is dotted with scores of aircrafts carrying passengers and cargo connecting the length and breadth of the country. It all started in 1932 when J. R. D. Tata, a leading industrialist at that time founded Tata Airline with a sole aircraft. After independence of India, in 1948, the company was rechristened as Air India with 49% of the equity acquired by the government of India. Since then, the company has been serving both domestic and international customers and has expanded manifold. On the other hand is Kingfisher Airlines, a relatively lightweight airline that was started by Vijay Mallya, owner of the United Breweries in 2003. Let us make a quick comparison between the two airlines.
Air India is a state owned airline having its head office in Mumbai. It has domestic hubs at Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport) and Mumbai (Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport). The airline conducts hundreds of flights (both domestic and international) daily connecting 49 domestic destinations and 26 international destinations across Europe, North America and Asia. It has a fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircrafts. Air India has a famous logo called Maharaja that is its official mascot. It was in 2006 that this huge airline started showing signs of financial distress posting huge losses. The government has been in talks with private airlines such as Kingfisher and Jet Airways to bail out the loss making airline.
In a short span of 6 years of its operations, Kingfisher Airline has carved a niche for itself as a low cost airline in the private sector in India. It has its head office in Mumbai and conducts 375 daily flights to 71 destinations that include some foreign destinations also. As of today, Kingfisher has the highest passenger share in Indian skies, carrying more than a million passengers annually. Skytrax has named Kingfisher as one of the seven 5 star rating airlines.
Difference between Air India and Kingfisher Airlines
• Air India has a strong brand name though Kingfisher is not lagging behind with Mallya promoting F1 racing and also owning RCB in IPL.
• Air India has the backing of the government and makes use of existing infrastructure whereas Kingfisher has developed its own infrastructure
• Air India has been losing market share while Kingfisher has been steadily increasing its market share.
• Air India has a long history of poor services whereas kingfisher is known for its excellent services.
• Air India has poor record in terms of on time flights whereas Kingfisher has one of the best records in terms of on time flights.