Here I have listed links to other sites which you may find interesting. You will find that Air-India is constantly in the news, and has a large fan following. I have listed these topically, and hope to add many more as we go along.
ps: I may not agree with everything they say, and sometimes the information may be wrong. However, that is for the reader to judge.
ps: I may not agree with everything they say, and sometimes the information may be wrong. However, that is for the reader to judge.
Tata Group Civil Aviation History
J. R. D. Tata
- Indian Hostesses Pretty Anglo-Indian firls serve their country's leading airline. September, 1946, LIFE Magazine.
- Air India International. An article in Shell Aviation News, Number 239, May 1958 by K. U. Matthew. India's international airline celebrates the 10th anniversary of its inception in June 1948. An early contemporary account of the airlines early years.
- Skeletons Dance in Tata's Cupboard. Sinister story behind Air-India Resignations. August 3, 1951, by Cross Roads Voice of India Vol. III, No. 13.
- 20 Years of Magic Carpet Service (Air-India). Esso Air-World Volume 20, Number 6, January / June 1968.
- Aviation News Volume 1 November 22. An article on Indian Aviation dated c. 1972.
- Air-India celebrate 25 yeras of International Services, since on June 8, 1948. June 7, 1973, by FLIGHT International.
- Airliners International (Fall 1973) salutes Air-India for using the vast dimensions of the 747, outside and inside, to convey a national motif. Well done! (courtesy John Evanich).
- Air-India sur la piste du centaure volant. 1977, by H.P. Mama.
- Air-India's Maharajah. Air-India enjoy the reputation of being among the world's best-run airlines. Although it has only 15 aircraft (five Jumbos and ten 707's) its reaps a harvest of profits of over Rs. 30 Crores per year. March 5, 1978, by Khushwant Singh., The Illustrated Weekly of India.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft. Vol.5, Issue 54. Airlines of the Worlds Air-India. Published by Orbis Publishing Ltd dated 1982.
- Palace Intrigues. As Air-India's chairman and managing director fight, the Maharajah's profit slump.17 - 23 July, 1988, by An Ananda Bazaar Publication (Sunday).
- Air-India on the rebound. Rajan Jatley, Air-India's dynamic managing director, has taken a tough and successful approach towards Air-India's outdated work practices. Partial privatisation of the carrier has been recommended by a special committee, appointed by India's planning commission. October, 1989, by Interavia Aerospace Review.
- Air India's Inaugural Flight. (nd) dadinani.com
- Marul of a Mascot. Bobby Kooka, the wolrd's most envied mid wife gave birth to the Maharaja in 1964, Ever since, the turbaned typhoon has through Kooka's Sardonic Wit, caused a ruffle. J.R.D. would often buzz Bobby and say: "You have done it again, it government is on my back". In turn, the unputdownable Bobby wrote, "Foolishly yours" - a little book with the roar of a thousand airplane engines. February 28, 1993, by The afternoon of the Sunday.
- Air-India in the forefront of International Aviation. Air-India reaffirms its commitment to stay in the forefront of the international aviation with the first of the four Boeing 747-400s joining its fleet this month. 1993, by A.T. Jayanthi.
- 'He deserves a better carrier', As the Air India Maharajah turns 50 this year, Santosh Vallury talk to his creator S K (Bobby) Kooka who takes him on a quick trip down memory lane and the way it used to be. July 8-9, 1995, by The Metropolis.
- A question of identity. A symbol that has developed a personality of his own. July 19, 1996, by Nalini Murlidhar.
- Air India : The history of the aircraft fleet. 26 July 2004, by Sean Mendis.
- The long and short of brand properties. Air India Maharaja: Bobby Kooka, the man who conceived the Maharaja said, ‘He may look like royalty, but he isn’t royal’. The figure first made it’s appearance in 1946 and was later consistently used across brochures and some legendary campaigns. 21 July 2009, by Bhatnaturally.
- Pretty girls now find their way into ads for almost anything: Bobby Kooka, Despite his rather "pucca" education-at St. Peter's, York, and the prestigious Brasenose college at Oxford, he displays a perceptive understanding of the Indian attitude to humour, and involves himself in several social service projects-protecting wildlife and beautifying Bombay among them-with a sincere dedication that makes for concrete results rather than screaming headlines. 9 March, 2015, by Vir Sanghvi.
- Air India, the national flag carrier, is on roll, having ordered 68 new aircraft that would enable ot to launch non-stop flights from India to the USA, besides operating flgihts to cities across the globe. 2006.
- Pretty girls now find their way into ads for almost anything: Bobby Kooka. Despite his rather "pucca" education-at St. Peter's, York, and the prestigious Brasenose college at Oxford, he displays a perceptive understanding of the Indian attitude to humour, and involves himself in several social service projects-protecting wildlife and beautifying Bombay among them-with a sincere dedication that makes for concrete results rather than screaming headlines. 9 May 2015, By Vir Sanghvi, By India Today.
- When Air India Was Owned By Tata’s, February 4, 2016, By Al Arafat Sherfuddeen.
- The Story of Air India’s Very First International Flight. June 8, 1998 marked the 50th anniversary of Air India’s maiden international flight – a milestone in the history of Indian civil aviation. 25 March, 2016, by Arzan, by Parsi Khabar.
- Air India Flew Its First International Flight 68 Years Ago. Here’s All You Need To Know About It. Jun 10, 2016, by Shumali Sharma
- 3 November 1950. On the crash of the Malabar Princess by Bryan R. Swopes.
- Creativity in Advertising. Speech by Mr. S.K.Kooka at the World Advertising Conference, London in June 1967.
- Time for the Maharaja to Stand Tall. Sep 17 2016 : The Economic Times (Mumbai) by Anirban Chowdhury and Mihir Mishra. Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju in his inimitable way is attempting to bring back the glory that Air India once commanded. But more interesting is the kinship that Raju, a scion of the royal family of Vizianagram, finds with the airline's iconic mascot: The Maharaja.
- India and Her Airlines. by The Captain's Log, The Journal of the World Airline Hostorical Society, Inc. Winter 2006 - Issue 31-3.
- AI to host rare ancient artefacts on August 15. The Museum will include, among others, ancient painting of artist such as M.F. Hussain, wooden gates of ancient temples, stone sculptures of 10-12th century, etc. January 29, 2017, by Neha LM Tripathi, Mumbai, Asian Age.
- J.R.D. Tata Memorial Trust. Speech on the occasion of the 113th Birth Anniversary of the Mr. J.R.D. Tata. by Chairman: M.P. Mascarenhas on July 2017.
- Yesterday's Maharajah in 'Mayday' mode. The dismal story of how Air-India, once the coutry's pride, has been virtually grounded by 'maximum government, minimum governance'. August 16, 2017, by Ashwini Phadnis, BusinessLine.
- Here is a link to Airwhiners.net. It contains a complete list of Air-India aircraft, with registration numbers, names and more information. This is complied by Seam Mendis. Unfortunately, it mixes up both Air-India Ltd., and Air-India International Ltd. However, it is very comprehensive, and a useful reference tool.
- A Tale Of Salvador Dali And 500 Ashtrays He Designed For Air India, April 23, 2018, by Nikita Jaiswal - Homegrown,
- Air-India like you've never seen before. May 14 2018: 'Revisiting the Golden Age of Travel with Air-India' With the help of private collectors and archival material, AD revisits the beauty and grace of the Maharajah Lounges and the Emperor fleet, before the titles came to an end in 1988. by Arcihtectual Digest (AD).
- The Maharaja and his many moods, captured for posterity. The talent that the airline promoted — ranging from artists to sports people — is also captured in the manual through caricatures of paintings that adorned the inside panels and outside area of the aircraft that the airline flew. In fact, the Maharaja himself can be seen all padded up with a bat in his hand ready for a game of cricket. by 30 May, 2018, by Ashwini Phadnis, The HIndu Business Line.
- Glitz, Glamour & Patriarchy – Inside The Lives Of Indian Air Hostesses From the ‘70s & ‘80s. by Devyani Nighoskar, dated June 6, 2018.
- When JRD Tata used to clean Air India's toilet and wiped dust off an airline counter. As chairman of Air India, JRD Tata would take personal interest in even minute issues like a dirty toilet inside the aircraft, wordings on Air India hoardings or the level to which wine was poured into a wine glass. The remarkable success story of Tata Airlines, which was later nationalised, also holds business management lessons for present day airlines which are facing losses year after year. 24 November, 2018, by Nikhil Agarwal, LiveMint.
- Pictures Of Indian Air Hostesses From The 60s And 70s Are The Ultimate Travel Throwback. 4 August, 2019, Pradamini Kumari, by ScoopWhoop.
- PM Inaugurates Memorial Honouring Victims of 2 Plane Crashes in France. The memorial at Nid d'Aigle, at the foot of Mount Blanc, was dedicated to Homi Bhabha and several other Indians who were among the passengers and crew of the two Air India planes that crashed in 1950 and 1966. 23 August, 2019,by NDTV.
- The Good Old Days of Air Travel. There was a time when air travel was glamorous and with J.R.D. Tata's vision, we could have had the world's finest airlines. Unfortunately, politics took over. 22 September, 2019 by Vir Sanghvi, By HindustanTimes.
- Luxury and Glamor of Flying on Air India in Good Old Days: A Myth to Our Next Generation. The golden age of air travel and Air India were synonymous in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. With everything from the fleet to the travel cabins to the on-board service to the inflight dining to the air hostesses having epitomized sheer luxury, Air India used to pamper travelers in the sky long before the world went gaga over the Etihad Residence and Singapore Airlines became one of the world’s best airlines. October 2019, by IndiaEagle.com.
- Air India is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Air India entered into Guinness Book of World Records for the civil airline that had evacuated the most people till date. For the uninitiated, movie ‘Airlift’ staring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur, is based on the mass evacuation of Indians from Kuwait in the year 1990.15 November 2019, by Kairos Institute.
- DEATH IN THE ALPS.Two planes from the same airline crashed in the same spot in the Alps, 16 years apart. Now the melting ice is releasing their secrets. Simon Akam travels to Chamonix to meet the investigator who believes the truth has been buried. December/January 2020, by Simon Akam - The Economist.
- Here’s Why Air India Flew 2-year-old Elephant to Geneva from Bangalore for Salvador Dali in 1967. Riding the time machine back to the golden days of Indian aviation when there were no cheap flights to or from India, we at Travel Beats, are up with a most interesting yet lesser-known story about Air India. March 2020, by IndiaEagle.com.
Air India Collectibles
- Airline Timetable Images is a wonderful website put up by Björn Larsson and David Zekria. You will need to navigate through the site for a glimpse of very old and rate timetables and baggage labels of Air-India.
- The Maharajah come to be known as a man of many parts - wiity, at times, naughty, provocative, irreverent. 2008.
- Club Maharaja. An absolutely fabulous aviation website called Aerocollectors Club by Ken Sequeira, built in 2014. Ken worked for Air-India and now lives in Australia. He has dedicated a section to Air-India, and has the most amazing gallery of items on display.
- All the Maharaja’s men. March 10, 2016, by Riaan Jacob George. - a great article on Air-India collectibles and the growing tribe of collectors.
- Air India to host rare ancient artefacts on August 15. By Neha Tripathi, The Asian age, Jan 30, 2017.
- In return, Señor Dali would like a baby elephant by Reema Gehi, Mumbai Mirror, August 6, 2017.
- Air-India museum likely to be opened by January in Mumbai by Express News Service, The Indian Express, August 23, 2017.
- 'I once flirted with a Maharajah' Nargis Wadia reminisces about the joy of creating Air-India's iconic posters by Salil Deshpande, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, May 11, 2018.
- Maharaja in full finery. Inching closer to divestment, Air India invites public to retrace history through a photo exhibition of its art, artefacts and textiles. by Reema Gehi, by Mumbai Mirror, February 13, 2020.
Air-India Art Collection
- First ever exhibition of the Air India art collection. 17 Aug 2013, by Gargi Gupta
- Fire at the iconic Air India building at Nariman Point. No damage to Maharaja's art collected over 60 yrs. December 21, 2016, by Aditya Anand, MumbaiMirror.
- How the Maharajah become an art lover by Reema Gehi, July 16, 2017. Air-India has one of India's biggest art collections. How did the national carrier come to acquire it in the first place?
- Culture Ministry will take over AI's art collection. National carrier’s priceless artwork will be taken over by the Ministry of Culture, which will display it in the National Gallery of Modern Art in various metros. by Mumbai Mirror, July 2, 2018.
- Air-India to give away 4,000 artworks gathering dust at Mumbai office to NGMA. “The Maharaja collection”, as it is generally called, has more than 4,000 works, including paintings by legendary artists such as M F Husain, V S Gaitonde, Jatin Das, and Anjolie Ela Menon.by Divya A, Indian Express, July 4, 2018.
- A-I 'Maharaja' turns cultural envoy by A Staff Reporter.
- Glimpses of Royal India. June 1985, by Ramesh Sattawalla.
- Air-India adds more color to Diwali Stamp Celebrations by Bidisha Roy. 21 Oct 2016. Gifts free return tickets to India to winners in AI Raffle to promote Diwali Stamp.
- The Doors at London Airport in 1968. American rock band The Doors arrive at Heathrow Airport for their European Tour starting off at the Roundhouse in London, UK, 5th September 1968. From left to right: drummer John Densmore, singer Jim Morrison (1943 - 1971), guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboard player Ray Manzarek (1939 - 2013). dated May 24, 2013.
- Air-India flies Delhi-San Francisco nonstop over Pacific, and into record books by Saurabh Sinha, Oct 23, 2016.
- AI lines up an all-woman, round-the-world flight, by Manju V. Feb 17 2017 : The Times of India (Mumbai). To fly to San Francisco from Delhi, Air India flies eastwards over the Pacific, making a 15,300km journey, which happens to be the world's longest non-stop route to be operated by any airline.
- Air-India: Crew recall good old days when the Maharajah was pride of the nation by Jane Borges. July 09, 2017. As Air-India gets ready to move into private hands, crew members share memories of flying around the world with the Maharajah.
- Final bow for the Maharajah? A little bird says Tatas may come full circle and acquire Air-India. Will the regal mascot strut again as he once did, asks Prabhakar Mundkur. November 14, 2019, Seniors Today.
Indian Civil Aviation
- 12 Airlines grounded in 21 years. While Indian skies have seen tremendous passenger growth, the country has had its share of airlines that ran out of fuel — 12 in 21years. by Saurabh Sinha, 27 March, 2019, Time of India.
- Here is the story of Dattatray Patwardhan, India's First Airplane Pilot. I got this as a forward on social media, and cannot vouch for authenticity.
- Abhishek Bhuwalka manages a very useful website on philatelic literature, including a section on India: Airmails and Maritime. This lists many publications on the subject.
- Indian Philately Digest has published International Postal Rates from India from 15 August 1947 to 1 April 1957. Very useful information to any Indian Airmails collector.
- Philatelic Bibliopole Catalog of Philatelic Books and Literature; New and Usedpbbooks.com/: Len Hartman is one of the most helpful dealers of Philatelic Books. He carries a vast inventory including several out of print editions. Here is a link to his website with an exhaustive listing of titles available with him. http://pbbooks.com/
- R101 - The Final Trials and Loss of the Ship: Over the summer of 1930, the R101 lay in the Number 1 shed at Cardington undergoing extensive modifications, which were needed following on from her 1929 and early 1930 trial flights.
- Control, Response and Crash of HMA R.101. Research paper published in the Journal of Aeronautical History by Bryan Lawton.