Air India (AI), India’s national carrier, has suffered losses of Rs448 crore in FY07. AI holds factors such as increased fuel costs, outflows due to wage arrears and high interest on working and long-term capital responsible for this.
One factor that it forgot to mention in the list was the lack of operational efficiency. Only the other day, a number of its flights were delayed, causing hardship to passengers. Its customer-care record, too, leaves much to be desired. Beyond cost factors, these issues are most important in ensuring competitiveness.
AI should be asking itself how other airlines that also face high fuel and other costs (India being an expensive country in this regard), manage to remain afloat. Taxpayers supporting a loss-making airline is a bad idea in this age. If disinvestment is an option for other public sector units, why should AI be any different?