Problems facing Civil Aviation in India.

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by Someoneforyou, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Air India snubbed by Star Alliance
    India - 1 August 2011

    Air India's bid to join the Star Alliance has been grounded after the global airline network said it had not met the minimum standards for membership.

    The decision to suspend the application, which was approved by the Alliance's board, is a fresh blow to the ailing state carrier, already battling mounting debts and loss of passenger share to private airlines.

    One analyst suggested the airline's bid to join the likes of Lufthansa, United, Air Canada and and Singapore Airlines was now doomed to fail.

    "From a broader people, business and financial perspective, it (Air India) doesn't fit in," said Kapil Kaul, from global consultancy the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA) in New Delhi.

    "It (the application) is delayed beyond the point of return," he told AFP.

    Star Alliance said on its website that the group's 27 members had "jointly concluded that the integration of Air India into the global alliance will be suspended".

    "This is due to the fact that Air India has not met the minimum joining conditions that were contractually agreed in December 2007," it added in a statement from Frankfurt.

    Star Alliance chief executive Jaan Albrecht and Air India boss Arvind Jadhav recently reviewed the company's application with India's civil aviation ministry.

    Albrecht added: "With the collective decision to put the integration efforts on hold today we aim to contribute to Air India's flexibility to concentrate on its ongoing strategic orientation.

    "In this process our member carriers will continue to provide assistance to Air India wherever required."

    Air India, which had been given a July 31 deadline to meet joining criteria in a range of areas from branding to ticketing, is currently waiting for approval of a five-year turnaround plan.

    That includes a government cash injection and a new business plan that would increase its fleet size, cut routes and set up network hubs.

    The Indian government pumped about eight billion rupees ($178 million) into the airline in the financial year 2009-10 and expects to put in another 12 billion this year on condition the company cuts costs.

    The restructuring plan is currently under review.

    Private airlines like Jet Airways, Kingfisher and low-cost rivals like Indigo and SpiceJet have replaced Air India as a preferred airline in recent years.

    Air India spokesman in New Delhi Kamaljeet Rattan confirmed that they had been informed of the suspension but said they were not given any indication of the reason.

    "We have in our possession a letter from the project manager at Star Alliance confirming that we have met all the minimum joining requirements, so we don't know why this decision has been taken," he said.

    The airline had met the stipulated criteria, barring "a few components" that would be implemented before it joined the alliance, he added.

    Star Alliance members operate more than 21,200 flights a day to 1,185 airports in 185 countries and membership for Air India would have given it a much-needed boost and raised its profile across the world.

    CAPA's Kaul said the decision was a blow to both parties as it came after two years' discussions and at a time when India is seen as a growing target market for international airlines.

    "It has a significant downside to it because by the time they decide to induct another partner, possibly Jet Airways, I'm not very sure whether they will get the regulatory clearance from the government," he said.

    "For Air India, there can't be any downside, as they can't go any further down."



    Source: AFP
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Baeseti kharab ho gayi..............
     
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  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Air India is a piece of shit airline that deserves to be snubbed by Star Alliance. The very fact that they considered Air India for membership befuddled me. The quicker this airline gets sapped in the quicksand the better it is for the ijjat of this nation. Not to mention the State Exchequer, travel standards and a host of other economic factors.
     
  5. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    Ouch, :redface:


    Air India is one dead weight which the government needs to get rid of. GoI should privatize it and let some capable private airline clean up the mess.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    To take the name of AI in the same breadth as that of Singapore Airlines or Lufthansa or Emirates etc itself is an insult to those airlines. Its one badly managed company typical of many PSUs but it gets limelight because of the business it is in. Other PSUs are no different when it comes to management and loss.

    I am not sure that any private company will even come forward to buy this down in the dump airline. It has so much debt and its making so much loss that even if it came for free, the private company will think twice about acquiring it.

    It first of all needs to dump a lot of its redundant staff. They employ so many people that there are more than one person for the same job..it really needs to trim up and make sure its employees are delinked from those stupid unions.
     
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  7. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Why am I not surprised? The pathetic services, the pitiful standards of travel and recruiting of mannerless, rude and unhelpful staff, has transformed the airline into a Neta-carrier rather than an airline responsible for normal passenger transit. There were a few occasions when I had to take rounds of AI's office due to ticketing issues. The customer service was nothing short of pathetic.

    When AI was first considered for membership in STAR ALLIANCE, I was shocked. How come the STAR guys missed out Jet or Kingfisher as their potential partners? That really shocked me and made me wonder if there was money involved here under the table. Even Go Air is a thousand times better than AI. I personally love Kingfisher for travels and IndiGo for LCC frequent travels. They make me feel regal. :laugh:

    Actually, Ratan TATA did offer to buy the company back around 3-4 years back. But his condition was that he was going to remove a lot of waste staff and completely change the entire management structure of AI. This was strongly protested by the sarkari karmcharis of AI who are used to not doing any work and taking free salaries for decades. With INR 43,000 crores in its kitty as debt, now nobody wants to take the airline. Some rumors are there that it will be taken over by a Singaporean ground handling company called Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS). There is already a large scale transfer of staff from AI to SATS already.

    They will have to remove at least 80% of their unruly, lazy, mannerless and cold staff. Only a marginal 20% are good. But then that would completely screw up the airline's functioning till new staff is trained and brought to the main scene. I know a friend of mine from Assam who had worked for this Singaporean company SATS. He said that AI is going to be extinguished in the coming months as there is doubt lingering on its existence.
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    They have more staff per plane than any airline in the world. Look at what other airlines do. the staff that does the boarding pass is then seen at the gates while boarding. All this to cut staff. I am not sure if the same is done by AI. They all try to minimize overheads. The opposite is true in AI where overheads are max.
     
  9. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    the only real classy airlines in india is kingfisher, then jet airways adds to the numbers followed by AI, and then the LCCs.

    at least on the sectors i have flown with AI, they come decently well placed with their other full service indian competitors. frankly i am yet to come across a staff that was rude to me or was non cooperating, on the contrary i have found them do that extra bit so i dont have a reason to bad mouth them and then the chances are they will be using wide bodied aircrafts during business hours which will assure you a much more comfortable flight than the b737s/a320s the others use where you would be cramped for space. heck you do a LCC and AI, and you would rate AI experience as divine, but then thats not a comparison worth making, since one needs to shell out more for a AI ticket but then if you are an early bird booking your tickets, you would certainly not be shelling out couple of more thousands than you would on LCC.

    other than that, yes, GoI has absolutely no business what so ever to be running an airline business, but just because huge number of babus/politicians and other such govt officials have to be accommodated and they wont travel via other means available so the govt is running this business which is a white elephant for the indian economy and huge burden on our money paid as taxes. every now and then they require a financial bail out running into 1000s of crores
     
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  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I think Indigo is a pretty good airline. Never travelled the kingfisher yet so don't know about it. Jet is ok, sahara now Jetlite is also ok.

    My experience with AI was from bangalore to Dubai and back about 8 years ago. We were stuck in Dubai with unconfirmed tickets. We went to the staff in Dubai and he was very good and courteous. He saw seats available on a mumbai flight and then gave us a connecting flight to Bangalore. He was not at the booking counter but some senior guy in an office.

    Well the quality of the flight was not too good. There were mosquitoes inside and also the AC didn't work till we were air borne. Had a "sweaty" time while we taxied.

    But the point remains about AI being a mismanaged airline.
     
  11. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    This pretty much sums up my opinion. The airline business has evolved rapidly since the 60s as most economically stable states have discovered that government run airlines are a losing proposition.

    Air India is known for its service in it's first class and business class sections, but other than that the service is pretty bad (probably a vestige of the caste system :becky:). As a whole the airline is pathetic and I refuse to fly with them. Needless to say it is a burden upon the Indian tax payer.

    The best thing would be to liquidate the airline. I doubt if any one company would purchase the airline given it's financial troubles, but it could be split up and sold to multiple investors. Air India has a large staff, but not large enough to make a voting impact unlike the railway employees. Sooner or later the burden of the disastrous socialist era has to be shed which means the disbanding of all useless unions and lobbies. Air India is a great place to start.
     
  12. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    I'll tell you. I flew Jet Airways Int'l recently and they're pretty damn good. Cute hostesses, excellent food, dependable service, spick n span aircraft, courteous ground staff, schedules on time, good captains and excellent telephone feedback. Everything was a spiff. Then I saw Air India hostesses while exiting the terminal <and almost threw up>. My Grandmother could do better on that plane! God bless India. And God bless Jet Airways, IndiGo, Kingfisher, Spice Jet and all those other airlines that make travelling in and into and out of the country still worthwhile.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Lol!! While we discuss this topic, We have this now.

    National carrier Air India incurred a loss of over Rs 5,500 crore during the 2009-10 fiscal, the government said today.

    http://toi.in/V5ZbCZ
     
  14. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    I flew AI once and will never fly it again. I had two connecting flights with AI as the major leg to Europe. You know with these connecting tickets you only get an hour between flights. I get to the counter with plenty of time to spare and they tell me my flight is overbooked. I was like WTF? The ticket is already paid for, stick me on the flight and kick someone who is going one-way. I got a schedule to keep or I miss my next flight. Oh, so sorry I will have to wait until the following morning to get the next flight. They promise to set me up in a nearby hotel. I wait several hours and the next shift comes in, I go to ask about it and they say "What are you talking about?" What am I talking about?!? They tell me to move aside, I better see the manager. It takes the better part of an hour. He says he will give me Rs 5000 and go find my own hotel. So I am waiting outside the office for some cash, I knock on the door after much time. They say they will refund my hotel, no cash now. Pissed off I go looking for an Rs 5000 hotel room. I can't find one anywhere near the airport. I go back and they offer me a sleeping place in their area, it has a nasty ass cot and full of mosquitoes. Screw it man, I lay down and wrap myself in my bathrobe and try to sleep.

    So I wake up with my face throbbing from mosquito bites, I get up early, check my bags and first in line at the gate. With the incompetence of AI I would probably get kicked off again. Finally board the flight, I notice there are more mosquitoes on the plane than I just slept through. I spend the whole flight swatting. Get off and try to work my magic with the connecting airline, they are reasonable as it seems they often have to deal with AI incompetence. So I finally make it from Germany to France and I am waiting to pick up my bags... wait, wait... no bags. AI left my bags in India! I never see them again and I get no compensation.

    This is what needs to happen to AI...

     
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  15. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Sorry I don't agree with u. I flew jet 5 times in span of 5 years as i go to India every year. I flew first in 2006 from London to Delhi, the service was excellent. then it gone bad in 2007, then in 2009 the only good thing is that they give 30kg luggage. Last i flew in 2010 from brussels to delhi, . Worn seats, some of TV sets not working and most of the passengers complaints there head set not working.

    Emirates is the only airline which maintained it's Quallity but then Dubai airport is shit
     
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  16. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    mate there is a difference between what kingfisher/jet/AI offer in the international circuit to what they offer in the domestic circuit, that said, by international standards, if anything comes close to the best is kingfisher.

    Cute hostesses - air hostesses can be aged on AI, but then they are well behaved, and then its always a mix of aged and young, so there is a good chance of one bumping into a cute one on AI as well. talking about AH and their dress, nothing could have been more shabby than deccan, thank goodness one doesnt get to see those ugly yellow blue from neck to toe any more.

    excellent food - if i am not mistaken, TajSATS does it for AI, par excellence, never ever did i have a prob with food.

    dependable service/schedules on time - not really, though the same can also be not said about AI.
    if i am not mistaken they recently judged indigo as most punctual. i was to do del-bom, checked in on time, announcement came the delay of one hour, technical prob, soon the delay was for two and then three, eventually left four and a half hours late, no refreshments during this waiting time period, on flight they had food for only those who had booked for it online, and nothing for the others, not even tea/coffee. not the case with AI, if the flight is delayed, they make sure some sort of refreshments are provided on ground and being a full service carrier, one need not worry about food on-board.

    spick n span aircraft - never seen dirty carriers, ever. though from the exterior nothing could be more yuck than indigo, that blue they have is so crass.

    courteous ground staff - AI is a lot improved, they will go out of their way to make sure the guest is politely handled, on the contrary chances are the young brash crowd of other airlines will react looking at the way you appear, seen instances where they can be pretty rude to people.

    good captains - AI has as good as they come, makes me remind of air sahara, and those were the chaps one would not be too comfortable flying with.

    excellent telephone feedback - at least on the domestic circuit, i have seen AI as good as any.

    i dont have a bias for AI, no, they have flaws and i am not trying to hide those but they are not out rightly useless, and any day better than any LCC out there but then as i said thats not a comparison to be made
     
  17. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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  18. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    As Ritesh has pointed out there is no problem with Air India if it flies and is on time. Good courteous service, nice new A 319s/A 321s, very decent food. The real problem has been the mismanagement by the successive Govts. and the bureaucrats who run the airline as if it was their personal fiefdom. The whole mess has been further aggravated by the merger by our beloved Shri. Prafful Patel, who as per many in the aviation sector, seemed to have some ulterior motive.

    with Kingfisher I feel that the AHs spend all the time looking young and pretty. I shudder to think if there is an onboard emergency will they have time for the passengers or one last final touch of the lipstick.
     
  19. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Air India will not be hived off. Its a money making machine for the politicians, unions and civil servants.

    Whenever I fly Air India, I usually get bumped up to Business/Executive Class and there are no excessive baggage charges. However, I prefer not to fly Air India because there is always a good chance that the experience is going to be sucky.

    Jet is my choice personally. Service is excellent, prices are competitive.

    If its an older jet you are in for a ride.
     
  20. ranjha

    ranjha New Member

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    Govt. should privatize air India asap. This is the only solution i can see. But how is this possible when babus nd politicians don't want this to happen.
     
  21. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Even that's not possible now man. Considering that AI has so much debt on its head (43,000 crore rupees), no one is willing to take them. around 3-4 years back, TATA offered but the lazy sarkari dodos protested when he said he wanted to change management. So now only option AI has is to just extinguish.

    And that would be best for the country. One huge money-sucking sarkari liability gone.
     

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