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Announcements at AI gets desi: Captain to address to passengers with Jai Hind

The next time you board an Air India (AI) flight, you might notice a slight change in the way the in-flight announcements are made. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director of the state-owned carrier, has asked his pilots to use the words ‘Jai Hind’ when they make an announcement. “During the journey, the captain should often connect with the passengers, at the end of his first address, usage of the words ‘Jai Hind’ makes a tremendous impact,” Lohani said in a communication to employees. “As a part of our efforts to turn around, it is of utmost importance that our passengers have a good experience. I expect all frontline employees to put in their best efforts to improve passenger experience.”

Lohani said he wants clean planes and a helpful staff, especially in case of delays. “The quality of food has to be good and special check needs to be kept on supplies. The engineers should ensure that the planes are immaculately clean, and defects in the cabin are kept at the bare minimum. Curtains, carpets and seat covers should also be maintained immaculately clean.” “Clean planes and a polite and helpful staff are the basics. An airline like IndiGo has reached where it has by keeping its focus on basics,” aviation expert Rajji Rai said.

“The cabin crew should greet the passengers while enplaning and deplaning with ‘namaskaar’ as was the earlier tradition. A smile on the face, and conversing sweetly and politely without an iota of irritation, would be a good thing.” The country has been embroiled in a debate over nationalism since the Jawaharlal Nehru University fracas, and the recent controversy over certain political leaders refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ has only added fuel to the fire.