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Air India Maratha Princess Over Lake Geneva – Old Postcard
This is an old 1950 photo postcard of Air India’s Maratha Princess, a Lockheed Constellation plane. Air India once the greatest pride of India commenced service in 1946. Under the able leadership of J R D Tata one of India’s great industrialists and an aviation pioneer. Initially named Tata Airlines but later changed to Air India.
It became one of the finest airlines in the world. So much so that Singapore Government chose to associate with it to learn their world-class service standards in 1970. They were also the inspiration to Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways whose dominance in the skies were just starting in the 1970s. The Indian government nationalized the airline in 1953 despite J R D Tata’s strong protest.
Two separate nationalized corporates entities were created- Air India and Indian Airlines. Unfortunately, this led to the beginning of the decline of Air India. Once a pride of India this flagship company sadly buckled to poor upkeep in standards and management. Accumulating a huge loss of Rs 60,000 crores in debt today.
As per the latest news, the Tata Group is at the forefront to acquire Air India into their fold and we hope they succeed hugely and turn around the company to its old glory and charm. Read- How the government took Air India from JRD Tata, asked him to run it, and then took it away again. See my post- M F Hussain Painting – Air India Advertising Postcard 1960.
Did you know- in 1960, it took delivery of its first Boring 707 named Gauri Shankar and became the first Asian airline to induct a jet aircraft to its fleet.
From the collection- Vintage Postcard Of Balamani Raja Ravi Varma., Interior Of A Bungalow In Bombay 19th Century – Old Photo., Bombay Fort And Harbour – Old Map/Plan 1754., Vintage Book 1939 – The Handbook of India