Monday, August 3, 2009

Private airlines strike

The maid who works in my house was telling me that things are becoming very expensive. She told me that the rice she got for Rs.8/- per Kg. in 2005 had become Rs.18/- per Kg. now. I have not seen my personal expenses going up in that proportion. In 2005 February the round trip from Mumbai to Delhi had cost me Rs.14,000/- for an economy class air ticket. Now I am able to undertake the same trip for about Rs.8000/-. Thus, whereas rice and other essential food items have gone up by a huge proportion, the cost of air travel has gone down substantially. I had thought this was the result of the magic brought about by the Economies and Vision of invincible private enterprise which had changed the entire scenario of air travel in the Country. Coupled with this was the fact that our Airports are becoming better since have also been handed over to the efficient private sector.



The private airlines are now saying that they are losing money and the Government must bail them out. And who is paying for the losses? It appears most of the Money for paying the loss is made available by not paying for the aviation fuel supplied by the public sector oil companies. The Airlines have threatened to go on strike, and the signs are that the Government will capitulate since the Nation would otherwise suffer. It is ironical that Private Enterprise first declares its great efficiency and reduces prices to 50% and if it does not make money arm-twists the Governments to help them. It may be that the Airlines have created great capacities which can only be sustained at very low prices. They are now demanding that the Nation must reduce taxes so that they can become profitable. The Government should allow the Airlines to take care of themselves, and go on a strike if they wish. A monopoly in the skies may help Air India’s bottomline. If it is Heads private enterprise wins, tails and people lose.





By Shailesh Gandhi

shaileshgan@gmail.com



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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