Tata Airlines: Wikis


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Tata Air Services

Tata Airlines, a division of Tata Sons Ltd. (now Tata Group) was founded by J. R. D. Tata in 1932 as Tata Sons. It was started as a mail service over the route Karachi to Bombay and on south to Madras.


The beginning

On 15 October 1932, J. R. D. Tata himself flew a single-engined De Havilland Puss Moth carrying air mail (postal mail of Imperial Airways) from Karachi's Drigh Road Aerodrome to Bombay's Juhu Airstrip via Ahmedabad. The aircraft continued to Madras via Bellary piloted by former Royal Air Force pilot Nevill Vintcent. [1]

Tata Airlines initially consisted of one Puss Moth aircraft, one Leopard Moth, one palm-thatched shed, one whole time pilot assisted by Tata and Vintcent, one part-time engineer and two apprentice-mechanics.

Initial service included weekly airmail service with a Puss Moth aircraft between Karachi and Madras via Ahmedabad and Bombay, covering over 1,300 miles. In its very first year of operation, Tata Airlines flew 160,000 miles, carrying 155 passengers and 10.71 ton of mail.[2] In the next few years, Tata Airlines continued to rely for its revenue on the mail contract with the Government of India for carriage of surcharged mail, including a considerable quantity of overseas mail brought to Karachi by Imperial Airways. The same year, Tata Airlines launched its longest domestic flight - Mumbai to Trivandrum with a six-seater Miles Merlin.[3]


In 1938 it was re-christened as Tata Air Services and later same year was renamed as Tata Air Lines. By this time Delhi and Colombo were also serviced.[1]

Post World War II

Following the end of World War II(when Calcutta was added to the network), regular commercial service was restored in India and Tata Airlines became a public limited company on 29 July 1946 under the name Air India.[1]

Change in guard

In March 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.[4]


In 1953 all airlines of India including Air India and Indian National Airways were nationalized to form Indian Airlines Corporation.

Time Line

Gallery of Tata Air Lines' airline timetable images

See also


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