Now the national carrier has two codes - AI of Air India and IC of erstwhile Indian Airlines, which have to be integrated not only as part of the merger process, but also to join the global airlines platform, Star Alliance.
The carrier can save an estimated 180-190 billion dollars over ten years through advantages of cooperation with the network partners across the globe, once the project is completed and Air India joins the Star Alliance.
“We have entered into collaboration with aviation IT major SITA, which will take about 10 to 11 months to integrate the operations of two different airline under one code. The system would start functioning from Mar 2011," said a senior airline official.
The senior Airline official added, “we were facing difficulties in operating flights under single code of AI. As a result, the entire purpose of merger has been defeated," due to differences in the IT platforms, including those relating to ticketing, and programmes used by the two carriers.
Air India now entered into an agreement with Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques (SITA) for a period of 10 years to provide the required system for the merger.
A six-week training programme for 350 staffers, related to internet booking, departure control system, loyalty programmes and other departments dealing directly with the travelers, has been started by the airline.
“From Monday, Jun 21, experts from a private IT firm have started training them in batches in Mumbai," he added.