Wednesday, August 01, 2007

How Sarkari "enterprises" destroy value

Air India has bought 2 Boeing 777s that can fly direct to New York.
But the inaugural flight has gone empty.
Even as Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel flagged off Air India’s inaugural non-stop flight to New York amid much fanfare early on Wednesday, the flag carrier’s top brass mulled over the near-empty Boeing 777-200LR that pushed back from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 12:45 am.
For onboard the “historic” flight were a meagre 80-odd passengers—including a dozen freeloaders [emphasis added] —as against the 238 seats available. Or a paltry 33 per cent load. What’s worse: things don’t appear much better for the first fortnight either.
In an era of free(er) skies, will anyone really fly Air India? I had the misfortune of flying them once and was appalled, really appalled at the planes and the (total lack of) service.

Despite this,
Air India had opened bookings with fares over 30 per cent higher than the industry average on the sector, which were later brought at par, because of slow bookings.
So, not only does the airline offer pathetic services, it also charges more than its competitors! That's rich!

Inquiring taxpayers (like myself) want to know where the money goes, and why the all-knowing Government of India continues to squander my taxes on funding this -- and other -- white elephants.


drisyadrisya said...

This does not mean any generalization... but since it came up i am just posting it here

I have flown air-india 8 times, and over all it was good service... except once the flight was on time also - take off and landing...

the first set of 4 i flew i flew with a lot of caution as i have heard stories.. but actually i was impressed with many things... this was during vajpayee govt

the next set of 4, i had some minor issues, but none major.. that was during mms regime..

I have had hell lot of problems flying US domestic airlines... and one another international carrier ..


yes, lot of things need to change with the government, and things better get better, but at a personal basis I have observed

1) desis esp NRIs in general consider it fashionable to deride air-india.. and 9 out of 10 cases when i hear some one deride and ask them "have you had an experience?", i get back "no, not me, but i have hear stories"

On the contrary, even if u have had a bad experience with any airlines run by the whites, you will never talk about it

one month before i heard from a friend who had to go through a 14 hour delay in her US to Delhi flight and after all this there was noone at delhi airport air india counter to help..

but then the delay was mostly caused due to civic irresponsibility..

not a justification, but people often oversee those things

2) and that leads to my second point.. i have seen that the attitude of the same people change when they fly AI vs a foreign carrier. they think they can abuse the AI flight.. no following rules, no keeping things clean.. where as they wouldn't dare to when it comes to another carrier

the same thing as you are willing to pick up ur dogs excreta when in US and will throw all garbage in India and govt


ps: once more, no justification for govts inaction, but i have always maintained, civic responsibility in india has to improve too

satish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
satish said...

you can justify anything giving selective counter examples. You can even cite some poor people in US and rich people in India and prove that both the countries are equally poor or rich, and it only because of our inferiority complex that we think we are poor

market is not a donkey. AI was popular once. It is constantly sliding in marketshare because of its poor performance, not because of our inferiorty complex because the same 'white-worshippers' earlier used to call it the best. This decline has not happened in a month but over decades. And why will comfortable, regularly-striking babus provide you good service, can you think of any reason?

I think the opposite is true. you are suffering from the 'white complex' so that even normal bevaior of consumers seems like a 'white/ Indian' thing to you..others dont care

Brownian Motion said...

I have flown Air India a couple of times over the past 15 years both times between the US and India. I've found the cabin service and food to both be excellent. The ground staff left a lot to be desired and they are the reason, I always try to avoid flying AI.

On one flight, the partner airline brought us on time to London where we were to catch the connecting AI flight. The AI ground staff refused to let us board the plane saying we were late and further refused to give us any meal coupons saying the other airline should bear responsibility. When we (about 20 of us) argued with the staff, they tried to get the partner airline to pay up who quite rightly refused and pointed to the flight records to show that they had fulfilled their part. Only then, with great reluctance did AI pony up.

Further they were to call our relatives in India to inform them of our change of plans. (We'd be reaching about 12 hours late). Well, they did call - after I reached home in Mumbai!!!

Incidentally, the flight they'd refused to let us board left late! w/o us of course.


drisyadrisya said...


if that comment was for me, thanks for letting me know what complex i suffer from.. why don;t u prescribe some medicine also ?

would n't you let some one post their comments here without being attacked personally ?


once more, all i was trying to point out was there is a good amount of civic responsibility that lies with each and every one of us to try to improve things

the "everything is governments fault" attitude i feel is the remnant of the bad socialism that india adopted..


slightly off, but related: about bribes... yeah its easy to blame the system.. but given an option of paying 20$ bribe at the airport and getting out vs suffering in long queues or paying huge taxes , most people opt for the former i guess...

yeah the system has to change, but it won't unless individual members put effort..

unfortunately we always want Bhagat Singhs to be born in our neighbours house