Surprised to find this article in FT today on bailing out Kingfisher Airlines in India. To me, it appears superficial. I am no fan of the State running air lines. There is no need for it. The private sector can do it as badly or as well.
However, the reason for the ills of the Indian private sector air lines cannot be wholly laid at the doors of price cutting by the State run airlines. These private promoters had played their part – quite apart from scores of others such as the workers, the management and the successive Ministers of Civil Aviation – in running down the State airlines and in bleeding them of profitability.
The private air line promoters – Mr. Mallya did not have his Kingfisher Airlines then – played their part in the Government of the day denying a license to the Tata – Singapore Airlines proposal to start a domestic service in India in the late 1990s.
I wonder if the problem is this:
Vijay Mallya is a man who is easily ridiculed. A flashy billionaire, he wears diamond studs in his ears and is known as India’s “King of Good Times”. His private Airbus has his initials inscribed in gold on the wings and the engines, as well as its leather seats and china crockery. [Full article here]