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Bye Bye Maharaja, now common man to be mascot of Air India
June 23, 2014, 11:11 am

The Maharaja may lose its crown from Air India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi feels that the logo was anachronistic

In a meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to evaluate the working of loss making National carrier Air India, the PM conveyed to Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi that `Maharaja’ which was the mascot and face of Air India must be changed and instead a `Aam Aadmi’ made mascot of the National carrier.

Aviation secretary Ashok Lavasa gave a presentation to the PM, who made a noting of all the discussions and heard out the recommendations and policies which would have to be implemented to revive the loss making carrier as it   was facing crisis due to accumulated loans of Rs.49000 Cr.

The discussions focussed on ways to bring the carrier out of mess, by cutting the operational costs, making flying affordable, opening operations on new sectors, building low cost airports, and Modi stressed that flying should not be prerogative only for the rich it should be designed for the common man and hence the mascot should also be of a common man.

PM stressed that CCTVs at the airports must be used to ensure that they are clean and to monitor the activities of customs and immigration apart from providing security.

We call him a Maharajah for want of a better description. But his blood isn't blue. He may look like royalty, but he isn't royal.' These are the words of Bobby Kooka, the man who conceived the Maharajah.

This Maharaja now familiar lovable figure first made his appearance in Air India way back in 1946, when Bobby Kooka as Air India's Commercial Director and Umesh Rao, an artist with J.Walter Thompson Ltd., Mumbai, together created the Maharajah.

The Maharajah began merely as a rich Indian potentate, symbolizing graciousness and high living. And somewhere along the line his creators gave him a distinctive personality: his outsized moustache, the striped turban and his aquiline nose.

Maharaja has completed 56 years and become the most recognizable mascot the world over.

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