Atanu Dey On India's Development

Air Indian — Part Duh

So then the two state-owned Indian airlines are going to merge (according to this rediff report — hat tip: Tejaswi) and the merged entity will be called — umm, let’s see now — “Air Indian,” the title of a blog post last month on the merger.

I have written earlier about the stupidity of changing the name “Indian Airlines” to the even more generic “Indian,” repainting a few dozen airplanes spending tens of millions of dollars, knowing full well that in a matter of months the whole exercise will be repeated when the name is changed yet once more. Time to revisit that piece.

Like I say, India is not poor for nothing. It takes concerted cumulative stupidity over decades to bring a large economy to its knees. Behold the bureaucrats and marvel at their madness.

  • http://indiaunwired.blogspot.com Aravind

    The more the things change, the more they remain the same. This seems to be the motto of the Civil Aviation department. Actually, the minister Praful Patel sounded quite candid about his plans for the merger and change in the fortunes of the new airline. In an interview to Karan Thapar at ibnlive.com (under Devil’s Advocate section), he was making tall claims about political interference in the management, re-branding, customer service and winning the competition. The new name is just what it is: old wine in the new bottle. Unless the government disinvests its stake to 49% or less, the fortunes of Air Indian will be sum of the liabilities of Air India and Indian.

  • http://sloganmurugan.blogspot.com SloganMurugan

    Well consumers will decide. We have a lot of airlines to choose from. From Air Deccan to Kingfisher, there something for everyone. Let’s see where Air Indian will position itself.

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  • as

    My intuition is that the merged entity will as bad or worse either indian or air india.
    I’d like to reiterate what Adi Godrej said a year back- “The govt should not be in the business of doing business.”

  • shiva

    With so many babus and netas flying by IA/AI the crew and staffers have over many years developed tentacles that reach deep into the country’s power structure. The bureaucracy instead of being kept on its toes (as Chanakya lucidly explains with some suggestions on how to discipline them) is simply a do-it-all for the neta. There is plenty of mutually assured munificence for both sides in this business. I would rather have an oligarchy – anything is better than what we have now.