Air India is going through some pretty difficult times and many are questioning their future. Heather Timmons with the New York Times recently shared a story on how a new Air India employee made a horrific discovery on one of their flights that clearly highlights the airline’s current lack of oversight.
The new pilot made a visit to the cockpit during a flight and discovered both pilots had covered the windows with newspaper to block out the sun — an obvious violation.
This is only one of many complaints the state-run airline has received recently and passengers are noticing. The airline used to be the primary airline in India, but has since been surpassed by Kingfisher, IndiGo and Jet Airways since India’s airline industry was deregulated almost 20 years go.
During the last fiscal year, Air India lost about $1 billion in taxpayer money. Currently, there is a solid movement for the Indian government to remove themselves from the airline business.
Even with the outside pressure, both a spokes person for Air India and India’s new civil aviation minister, Vayalar Ravi, have stated the airline will not shut down and will remain under governmental control.
Ravi has admitted that there has been poor management in the past and that the airline has bought too many planes. Air India changed many of their wide-bodied orders into single-aisle orders in 2006 and today there is talk that Air India might have to defer the delivery of their Boeing 787 Dreamliners due to their continuing financial crisis.
It seems the management of Air India needs to wake up. Obviously, the current plan is not working and the airline has already lost many of their customers. It takes much more money and effort to convince alienated customers to come back than it does to attract new ones. With strong competition from other airlines, Air India will need to make serious changes to survive.