Name: Rishikant Singh
Title: Regional manager
Company, city: Air India, New York City
Number of employees: 67 in the United States and Canada
Recent project: Preparing to announce and launch Air India’s newest North American gateway
First job: Working for a New York City garment company as its “man Friday”
Little-known fact about you: I’m extremely shy by nature.
Essential business philosophy: Always look for ways to provide great service at a great value to your customers.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Leadership can’t do it all. You have to foster a sense of teamwork within your organization.
Yardstick of success: In both my personal and professional life, it’s being educated about the world around me and being able to effect change.
Rishikant Singh as a Traveler
What is the most important item you take when traveling? A set of clothes in my carry-on, my personal devices and a power bank
How do you spend your time on board? I maximize on the entertainment options and sleep.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? In Mumbai, it’s Sadichha, a tiny, home-run restaurant serving homemade coastal cuisine.
What is your favorite destination in the world? Anywhere I haven’t been!
About Air India
What can premium travelers expect from Air India’s business-class product?
As always, it’s about value for the money coupled with exceptional service. Air India continually strives to provide warm hospitality, and the airline also delivers premium passengers with a relaxing and soothing flight.
Tell our readers about the Flying Returns loyalty program.
Launched 10 years ago, we now have close to 1.2 million members, roughly 200,000 in North America; we’ve seen tremendous growth. We have three levels — Maharaja Club, Silver and Leading Edge — and are also associated and integrated with Star Alliance. Soon, we will upgrade and revamp the program, but overall our program has a good image. Flying Returns is generous as far as the bonuses, and members can pool and buy miles for reasonable rates and fees.
What can travelers expect from Air India in 2016, particularly in North America?
This month, on Dec. 2, we launch service from San Francisco to Delhi. This is an important step for the airline and a route I’ve been looking to launch for the last decade, connecting the U.S. and Indian Silicon Valleys. The 19-hour non-stop will be on an upgraded Boeing 777-200 and will be one of the longest flights in the world.
Both North America and Europe are important markets for Air India, and some target gateways include Washington, D.C.; Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston; Toronto; Rome; Milan; Dublin; Manchester; and Barcelona.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
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Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.