New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) From 0001 hours tonight,Indian Airlines and its subsidiary Alliance Air will becomehistory as the national carrier will now operate all itsdomestic and international flights with single code ''AI''.
"Henceforth, all national and international flights,numbering nearly 100, will fly under the ''AI'' code, therebymaking the ''IC'' code history from midnight tonight," an AirIndia spokesperson said.
All Air India flights departing after 0001 hourFebruary 27 will be with the new mapped AI flight number, hesaid.
In 2007, erstwhile doemstic carriers Indian Airlinesand its subisdiary Alliance Air were merged with Air Indiato form the corporate entity called the National AviationCompany of India (NACIL).
Despite the merger, Air India was operating itsdomestic flights with IC code of erstwhile Indian Airlines andCD code of Alliance Air. However, international flights wereoperating with AI code.
"I am happy to share that ''we are one''. This was muchawaited. It is a historic moment. Tonight''s migration into AIcode strengthens our resolve to emerge as the country''ssingular national carrier," Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav said.
The migration to a single code ''AI'' will bring in alot of benefits to the passengers and they would be able toenjoy seamless travel all over the world, he said, adding itwould also facilitate Air India''s entry into Star Alliance -thus giving Air India passengers access to 1,160 airports and181 destinations.
The migration to the new system began in the earlyhours today. The airline''s website remained shut and nobookings could be made through it, despite Air India makingspecial arrangements for emergencies with regard to newbookings, changes, frequent flyer redemption, refunds andticketing.
The integration would help the cash-strapped nationalcarrier, which suffered losses of Rs 5,551 crore in 2009-10and around Rs 1,700 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal,to reduce some of its administrative costs.
The airline management has deployed a large number ofexecutives at airports to assist passengers, put up standsabout change in flight codes and also distributed colourfulleaflets at all airports to keep the passengers updated. PTISMJ VMN