AirAsia India celebrated the 116th birth anniversary of JRD Tata, the father of Indian Civil Aviation and longest serving chairman of the Tata group. Paying tribute to the pioneer, the airline hosted a series of digital activities and partnered with Swiggy, Taj SATS Air Catering and SkyGourmet Catering to deliver specially curated meals inspired by JRD’s favourites to customers and patrons.
In keeping with social distancing norms, instead of a traditional onground event, AirAsia India organized a host of digital engagements, including a trivia quiz on the #JourneyOfJeh, inspirational quotes from JRD Tata, and live contests which are open for participation on AirAsia India’s social media pages on Twitter @AirAsiaIndian, Instagram @AirAsia_Indian and Facebook @AirAsiaIndia. As part of the celebrations, AirAsia India also announced a host of other initiatives including adopting a unique font developed from JRD’s letters in keeping with his love for writing which featured on the stationery to AirAsia guests.
The collaboration with Swiggy transpired as AirAsia was looking for a partner who could power the deliveries with the operational efficiency and on time precision the airline prides itself on while maintaining the highest standards of safety and hygiene.
JRD Tata was also a culinary connoisseur who loved experimenting with flavours. AirAsia India has a dedicated section of its in-flight menu Santan, called ‘Pioneer’s Picks’, inspired by JRD’s favourites, including a marinated grilled fillet of fish with lemon butter sauce, mashed potato and sautéed vegetables and a cheddar cheese and onion omelette. ‘Pioneer’s Picks’ meals with dessert and branded merchandise hampers were home delivered in time for breakfast and lunch to key customers and patrons across the airline’s hubs of Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, in an exclusive partnership with Swiggy. In addition to JRD’s favourites, the meals included an innovative Vegan Moilee MasterCurry (with tofu, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini, served with raw mango and coconut rice), curated exclusively by Masterchef Kirti Bhoutika for the 2020 Santan menu.
JRD Tata personally piloted India’s first commercial flight, the inaugural flight of Tata Air Services, from Karachi to Bombay via Ahmedabad in 1932 in a single engine Puss Moth. The incident and the advent of civil aviation in India was commemorated by AirAsia India in the JRD Tata inspired livery commissioned for its fourth aircraft VT-JRT in 2015, dubbed ‘The Pioneer’ by aviation enthusiasts. During the lockdown, AirAsia India took the opportunity to refresh and repaint the livery to be spanking new in anticipation of the 116th birth anniversary.