Air India is the flag carrier airline of India. Air India has two major domestic hubs at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai.
In July 1932 the Aviation Department of Tata Sons was formed and in October 1932, J.R.D. Tata flew from Karachi to Bombay carrying postal mail of Imperial Airways. In the next few years, Tata Airlines continued to rely for its revenue on the mail contract with the Government of India. The same year, Tata Airlines launched its longest domestic flight – Bombay to Trivandrum.
After World War II regular commercial service was restored in India and Tata Airlines became a public limited company in 1946 under the name Air India. In 1948, after the independence of India, 49% of the airline was acquired by the government of India, with an option to purchase an additional 2%. In return the airline was granted status to operate international services from India as the designated flag carrier under the name Air India International. In 1948 the airline’s first long-haul international flight took place (to London).
In 1953 the Government of India exercised its option to purchase a majority stake in the carrier and Air India International Limited was born as one of the fruits of the Air Corporations Act that nationalised the air transportation industry. At the same time all domestic services were transferred to Indian Airlines (now renamed as Indian).
Air India International entered the jet age in 1960. In 1962, Air India became the world’s first all-jet airline.
In 2004, Air India launched a wholly owned low cost airline called Air India Express. In 2011, Air India and Indian Airlines merged along with their subsidiaries to form Air India Limited. The airline became a member of Star Alliance in 2014.