AirAsia India is celebrating the 90th anniversary of JRD Tata’s first commercial flight by hosting a series of digital, on ground, and in-flight engagement activities. An ardent aviator, JRD Tata was the longest-serving chairman of the Tata group and is regarded as the father of civil aviation in India. In addition to being a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, he was also conferred the rank of honorary Air Vice Marshal of the Indian Air Force.
JRD Tata piloted the inaugural flight of Tata Air Services, from Karachi to Bombay via Ahmedabad on 15th October 1932, in a single-engine de Havilland Puss Moth, paving the path for civil aviation in India. The inaugural flight is commemorated in the livery commissioned by AirAsia India on its aircraft VT-JRT, dubbed “The Pioneer”.
AirAsia India announced the engagement activities through its social media handles, including the ‘#SpotThePioneer’ contest. Participants stand a chance to win a free flight by sharing original photos of ‘The Pioneer’ aircraft on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, tagging @AirAsiaIndia, and using the hashtag #SpotThePioneer.
The airline is giving themed postcards to flyers, inviting them to write to their loved ones and undertaking to mail the postcards on behalf of its guests, commemorating the airmail carried by JRD Tata on the inaugural flight. The postcard design pays tribute to JRD’s love for writing (he wrote over 40,000 letter in his lifetime), with an image from the Tata Central Archives of JRD at his writing desk and features the 90th anniversary logo and the custom font “Jeh”, inspired by his flourishing handwriting.
Guests can also win exclusive merchandise by solving themed ‘Journey of Jeh’ crossword puzzles, using the hashtag #FlyLikeAPioneer and tagging @AirAsiaIndia. To mark the 90th anniversary of the pioneering flight, boarding passes issued on the anniversary also feature the 90th anniversary logo and ‘Jeh’ font while pilots will be paying tribute through announcements to the first licensed commercial pilot in India and the man who gave wings to the nation.