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History of Air India

Air India is India’s national Airline. Air India’s history can be traced to October 15, 1932. On this day J.R.D. Tata, the father of Civil Aviation in India and founder of Air India, took off from Drigh Road Airport, Karachi, in a tiny, light single-engine de Havilland Puss Moth on his flight to Mumbai via Ahmedabad.

Air India was earlier known as Tata Airlines. At the time of its commencement, Tata Airlines consisted of one Puss Moth, one Leopard Moth, one palm-thatched shed, one whole time pilot, one part-time engineer, and two apprentice-mechanics. Tata Airlines was converted into a Public Company under the name of Air India in August 1946.

On March 8, 1948, Air India International Limited was formed to start Air India’s international operations. On June 8, 1948, Air India started its international services with a weekly flight from Mumbai to London via Cairo and Geneva with a Lockheed Constellation aircraft.

In early 1950s due to deteriorating financial condition of various airlines, the Government decided to nationalize air transport. On August 1, 1953 two autonomous corporations were created. Indian Airlines was formed with the merger of eight domestic airlines to operate domestic services, while Air India International was established to operate the overseas services. The word ‘International’ was dropped in 1962. With effect from March 1, 1994, the airline has been functioning as Air India Limited.

Air India’s worldwide network today covers 44 destinations by operating services with its own aircraft and through code-shared flights. Important destinations covered by Air India are Bangkok, Hongkong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Dar-es-Salam, Nairobi, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Birmingham, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat, Riyadh, Kuwait, Los Angeles, Chicago, Newark, New York, and Toronto.

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