11 Interesting Facts About Air India You Probably Did Not Know

by Suchismita Pal
11 Interesting Facts About Air India You Probably Did Not Know

“Dear guests…Welcome aboard this historic flight, which marks a special event. Today, Air India officially becomes a part of…Tata Group again, after seven decades.”, announced the pilots of Air India as Tata regained control over the airline after a span of 69 long years.

Air India officially went back into the hands of Tata from the Government of India after a stressful period of financial crunch. The airline had come into existence in 1932 as Tata Airlines. The inaugural flight of the airline piloted by Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was India’s first commercial flight. In 1946, Tata Airlines got renamed Air India. It was declared as the national airline in 1953. Here are 11 interesting facts to know about Air India:

1. The founder of Tata Airlines ( today’s Air India) Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, or J.R.D Tata is known as the father of Indian civil aviation.

2. The first flight of Air India that had touched the skies on October 15, 1932, was the first commercial flight of India. J.R.D Tata had flown it from Karachi to Bombay via Ahmedabad.

3. J.R.D Tata was the first licensed pilot in India.

4.  J.R.D Tata would come to his workplace without giving prior notice to the employees to ensure that everything was going well.

5. The first logo of Air India, selected by J.R.D. Tata was a centaur.

5. In 1948, Air India ran its first-ever international flight from Mumbai to London with 35 passengers. The airline had become the first in Asia to operate flights to the west.

Also Read: Air India’s All-Woman Pilot Team Flew On The World’s Longest Air Route Over North Pole

6. Air India was the first Indian airline to operate Jet aircraft. In 1962, it had become the first all-jets airline in the world.

7. In 1967, Air India had gifted a creative ashtray designed by world-famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali to some first-class flyers.

8. Former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi was a pilot of Air India before joining politics.


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A post shared by Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (@rajiv___gandhi)

Also Read: This 19-Year-Old Farmer’s Daughter From Surat Is India’s Youngest Commercial Pilot

9. Air India had revolutionised luxury air travel by introducing its first Boeing 747-200B in 1971, named Emperor Ashoka. It was the swankiest airline of the time which also earned the title ‘Palace of the Sky.’

10. Air India had operated the biggest evacuation drive in history at the time of the Gulf War, bringing home around 111,000 Indian expatriates from Iraq and Kuwait in 1990. The operation got listed in the Guinness Book of World Record too.

11.  On October 15, 2021, Aarohi Pandit, the first woman pilot to fly above the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean solo, re-enacted India’s first commercial flight from Gujarat to Mumbai.