Free Press Journal

Air India to hire PR firm for image make-over


Air India

New Delhi: With frequent delays and cancellations of flights denting its reputation, national carrier Air India has planned to engage an image make-over firm to regain the customers’ confidence. The airline recently floated tenders, inviting technical and commercial bids from interested PR firms. March 30 is the last date for submission of the bids. “Air India has been under a lots of media exposure in the recent times due to various reasons. It is common amongst the service industry to appoint PR agencies to project the right image to the users of services,” an Air India official said.

“The appointment of such an agency is aimed at enhancing public and media perception of Air India as well as manage more effectively our public relation and corporate communications,” said the official. Last year also, the airline had undertaken a similar exercise but it failed to rope in any agency, forcing it to initiate the process again.

Airlines world over have strong PR agencies to project the right image to the travellers and support the company in corporate communications, he said. “The national carrier has strong brand equity and has been rated better than its competitors in the Indian market by a leading agency recently. Several important features which have an impact on public perception of the airline has to be highlighted in the proper perspective. More often than not these aspects are not highlighted resulting in wrong public perception,” the official added.

With AI joining Star Alliance, it was necessary to highlight the broad connectivity and numerous marketing initiatives taken by the carrier recently, he said. AI operates across 66 domestic and 33 overseas destinations with a fleet of 128 aircraft including that of its international budget arm Air India Express and regional service Alliance Air.

Air India was judged a more trusted brand than private carriers including IndiGo in the 2015 Brand Trust Report, India, released in Mumbai last month. The state-run airline, last month also had bagged the National Quality Excellence Awards for Safety and Environmental Sustainability. These awards, instituted by the World Quality Congress, aim to encourage quality competition and are given in recognition to the industries for best quality, registering the highest product development, HRD and environmental performances among others.