Can the Tata Group save Air India?

What we know today as Air India, had a rather humble start thanks to JRD Tata, a 25-year-old aviation enthusiast who belonged to the now-famous Tata dynasty. Siddharth Ganesh offers his informed take on the state of affairs as history begins to repeat itself...


In 1932, JRD Tata and his friend Nevill Vintcent launched Tata Air Mail with two de Havilland Puss Moth aircraft, which could fly at 160 kph, carrying mail and two passengers. The company’s first flight departed on October 15, 1932 when JRD Tata flew the all-important cargo from Karachi to Bombay.

The domestic network continued to grow and some years later, JRD Tata, looking at the post-World War Two landscape, saw huge possibilities for the airline industry. He took the company public and renamed what was then ‘Tata Airlines’ to the much more ceremonial Air India. Tata also acquired a new fleet, with the Lockheed Constellation plying the flagship route to and from London.

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