How Turkish Airlines’ international flight path could shape Air India

By 1 April, former Turkish Airlines boss M. Ilker Ayci will take over as chief executive officer at Air India in its new avatar under the Tata Group. When he embarks on turning around the formerly government airline, he will inevitably draw from his previous seven-year stint. Equally, Turkish Airlines holds useful cues from its strategy in the decade before he took over as chairperson in 2015, when it added international destinations prolifically. Under Ayci, it consolidated that positioning and became financially stronger.

For Air India, too, the path to growth and profitability flows through flying abroad. International flights yield higher revenues and margins, and open up new markets. Given its aircraft fleet, airport slots and bilateral rights, Air India was the best equipped to make this journey from India, until that promise was belied by business ennui and poor finances.

Between 2008-09 and 2019-20, Air India’s…

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