Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Exclusive! Enough is enough - Scaring facts on the state of Indian aviation

                                                           Indian Aviation: hazy picture


Neelam Mathews
Aug 8, 2012

Things are not good at all in our sector - barring a slight escalation in yields- because of two airlines pulling out capacity. What happens when those two get back on track or another carrier fills in, one wonders. So, the false optimism might be just that, and lows might be around the corner.

Some thoughts:

One has no idea if Kingfisher has put in another note recently informing the DGCA of reduction in its fleet given that the last time its fleet count rate was around 20. Today with the flying fleet size down to approximately 10 and with approximately 5000 employees, that gives a ratio of 500 people to one aircraft! Mind you-that includes the small sized ATRs!

Indian Airports Capacity Challenge merits another detailed report one thinks (CAPA). In a recent report CAPA has found that India is under-prepared for the growth challenges ahead and will need to plan for massive investment of up to $40 billion in airport development by 2025, including the construction of up to 50 greenfield airports.  Who is going to make these investments as AAI has very limited funds and the less said about our politicians and bureaucrats the better.

DGCA is running out of people given that 16 of its officials are under the scanner or under investigation. Where are the skill sets to be found that we have been promised? 

The real value of all Indian airlines put together is Re1, says a report today by First Post. 

Kingfisher's stock is down to Rs 8 almost. Who is the Chairman kidding when he says he will recapitalize the airline? FDI is almost a dead-end for the moment. Mamata Didi said categorically yesterday her party would not support FDI in aviation. Who will bell the cat even as clouds of elections are upon us?

Boeing 787s on domestic routes!! Really? is this because of lack of planning or pilots getting "acclimatized to the aircraft"? What happens to the A320s? Will they be put on a sabbatical? 

Somebody wrote of our industry  "Is the fox in charge of the chicken house?" Point taken.

Above all, where is the aviation policy that was promised- is its non-existence holding down investors? The question is why has it not been released when we do have some brilliant analysts on the subject in the country to help and give their ideas? Whose interest does it serve by not having a policy?

Questions that now need to be seriously answered.


  1. This is beyond scary.
    The first casualty of such situations is safety.
    The last thing we now need is a 'overlooked' safety violation that will lead to ask ourselves some very difficult questions. The point is, are we sure this is the price we want to pay?

    1. Thanks Bharat- safety is prime.

      Folks- do read our story related to safety-


  2. 787 on domestic routes is the ultimate insult and I don't care attitude that permeates our Indian Aviation scene!
    Pray whose money is being spent in acquiring these expensive aircraft?
    The taxpayer is milked dry and he is not sure of safety.
    Perhaps Indian railways and aviation are playing catching up.

  3. Firstly its economic slow down's effect, and aviation is the front runner to be hit hard. Secondly the entire aviation sector is managed by corrupt officials and they are shameless in sucking the lifeline.
    Officially too the government is not bothered and is hiking fees for landing/T/O, Airport development etc charges.
    So wait for total devastation and hope capital will rise again from the ruins of present rulers.