Air India set to shed age-old colours with new livery unveil

The Tata Group-owned former national carrier has called the exercise the start of a new era of transformation that may bid goodbye to the iconic maharaja tag

Representative image of Air India flights (Photo: NH File Photo)
Representative image of Air India flights (Photo: NH File Photo)

Aditya Anand

Air India's current logo, which features a red swan adorned with the distinctive orange Konark Chakra, is set to transform with its new livery colours set to be unveiled on Thursday, August 9.

If the exercise that the Tata Group-owned former national carrier has termed as the start of a new era of transformation means the departure of the iconic maharaja tag, the current distinctive orange logo, the introduction of Vistara’s aubergine into Air India, whether it will be a female mascot etc. will be revealed at 6 pm on Friday, August 10, 2023.

The Tata Group had engaged London-based brand and design consultancy company Futurebrands to execute the entire exercise. The agency has been on the job for the past eight months.

Airline officials revealed that the airline's logo, currently showcasing a red swan embellished with the Konark Chakra, is poised for a dynamic transformation, echoing the airline's evolving identity under new ownership.

Since Tata Sons completed its takeover of Air India in January 2022, the transition has been eagerly anticipated. Tata Sons bought a 100 per cent ownership in the airline from the government through its wholly owned subsidiary, Talace Private Limited.

Aviation enthusiasts have predicted significant modifications to the aircraft livery, which includes a variety of features such as symbols, insignia, colours, and identifiers that are inextricably related to an airline's identity. A new colour palette, upgraded cabin decor, new crew uniforms, and new insignia are all expected to be a part of this rebranding exercise.

Airline officials said that the goal was to give the brand a fresh look across the board, including the livery, the cabin interiors, the uniforms, and the insignia. As part of its rebranding effort, Air India is also in the process of introducing a slew of new services, as announced in an internal memo from CEO Campbell Wilson in April 2023.

Air India was founded in 1946, and since then, the Maharaja has served as the company's unofficial mascot. The character was created by artist Umesh Rao and Air India's then commercial director Bobby Kooka, who became widely recognised for his role in the project.

The Tata Group has already announced that Air India and Vistara will be merged into one entity, which is estimated to be completed by March 2024. Singapore Airlines will have a 25 per cent stake in the newly merged entity. 

Apart from this, Air India Express and Air Asia India will also be merged to create a single low-cost carrier airline. 

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