Air India is an expensive toy, we can’t afford it

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3 Sep 2012

4 India is an expensive toy, we can’t afford it&id=nc

My heart sank the other day when I received an unexpected call from Air India. Expecting bad news, I imagined that they were calling to tell me that my flight from Chicago to New Delhi of September 1 had been cancelled. Thankfully, the call was to let me know that instead of it being a non-stop flight, it would still be a direct flight but with a stopover in Frankfurt. It was a relief to know that at least I would eventually get there — barring any other changes — though late by a couple of hours.

I determined that I would avoid travelling by Air India. That airline is in trouble and it makes no sense to add its troubles to the usual uncertainties of travel. My travel plans are of little interest to you, no doubt, but what should bother you is why Air India exists at all as a public sector corporation. The Government has no business being in business, in any case, and even less being in the business of running an airline which is bleeding money.

Air India is losing money and it has nearly always lost money. That is not in itself exceptionable since corporations often fail to make a profit. The commercial airline industry taken as a whole has lost money over its entire existence. What is unacceptable is that Air India is losing money that India cannot afford, and that too without any compensating benefits to the country.

Atanu Dey is an economist. He blogs on India's Development at

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4 India is an expensive toy, we can’t afford it&id=nc

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  • http://digvijayankoti.blogspot.coim DIGVIJAY ANKOTI

    This is the top headline news on Niticentral and the article ends before it starts. And this is not the first such article I have seen here.For these articles, you can have a separate page titled ‘Opinions’ else very soon you’ll be known for such articles which leave readers with nothing but an opinion of the writer.

  • Jitendra Desai

    You are right.Air India has already lost Rs67000 crores.Govt is planning to pump in another 30,000 crores.What for? This is public money.It is the worst example of kings squandering away public money for very private benefits of less than 5% people [ like you!] who fly.95% of Indians just watch planes in the sky.How many more tracks and trains we can add with this kind of money?500 crore rail tickets were sold in 2010.What is our priority? This is the govt of the few by the few and with the few.

  • ethicalman

    and to add to it..Air India is buying boeing 787 dreamliner..and tax payers will pay for it..and AI public corp you guys suck and so do Airports Authority of India (AAI)because of these corporation the flyers pay hefty taxes in every ticket..These public corporates should be dismantled..they will only suck the public money like they did for so many years..

  • rvrbreeze

    4 lines, basically general common knowledge, on a critical subject?
    Even a cursory google search will yield reams of detailed info.
    Could you interview R.P Rudy, BJP Aviation Minister, on the subject or pick the brains of a former DGCA ?

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