India Uncut

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Sunday, January 16, 2005

Incompetent Maharaja

Air India’s not having the best of times. Mid Day reports: “More than 5000 passengers and nearly 700 bags were stranded at Mumbai airport last Sunday evening, as a result of delays of more than seven Air India flights … Worse, when the flights finally took off after the delay, at least 700 bags of the passengers were left at the airport. Passengers were flown without their baggage, allegedly because of lack of loaders and containers to transport the baggage.”

And this was Mumbai. In New Delhi, we had India’s Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel screaming at AI’s general manager Tarun Manilal, “I want to make Air India an airline of international standards and because of you idiots we get a bad name.”

Patel is wasting his time. It is beyond the power of government to produce “an airline of international standards”. Only the free market can do that. Privatise the company, open up the skies, and the pressures of competition will force Air India to shape up. And ship out.
amit varma, 12:05 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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