Travelling from Lucknow to Delhi, the Indian Airlines flight literally fell from 30,000 feet to about 20,000 feet in 5 mins. This has been one of my biggest scares ever.
Air India was founded by JRD Tata in 1932 as Tata Airlines and it became a public listed company in 1946 under the name of Air India. In 1948, when the Government of India acquired a 49% stake in the company, it was allowed to operate international services. By 1953, it had a majority stake in the company. Indian Airlines was formed by the Government in 1953. It was decided that Air India would operate on international routes while Indian Airlines would target the domestic and regional ones.Indian Airlines was formed by integrating Deccan Airways, Airways India, Bharat Airways, Himalayan Aviation, Kalinga Airlines, Indian National Airways and Air Services of India.
For many years it was the one and only Indian airline operating in India as well as the money spinning Middle – Eastern region. But when liberalization came about in 1991, and slowly the “open skies policy” was introduced, private players like Jet, Sahara entered the market with better services, aircrafts as well as on time performance. The entry of low cost airlines like Deccan, Indigo, Spice Jet and luxury airlines like Kingfisher and Paramount airways continued to dent its business. Around 2006, Indian started showing heavy losses.
Air India went on expanding over the years across US, Europe and 0ther destinations across the world. A large number of Boeing 777s were bought especially for long haul flights. Sometimes this makes me wonder one thing – WHAT THE HELL does Indian Airlines or Air India think of us Indians? I mean the planes used to the Gulf or other regional destinations are so pathetic. They make noises which sometimes makes you wonder whether the plane will crash or something. Guys do observe this the next time you make the mistake of taking an Indian Airlines flight – When an Indian Airlines plane takes off, it makes an odd noise for sometime till the wheels go inside. Now this is because the landing gear is somehow getting stuck with the wheels. Scary isnt it? Neways this doesn’t mean that the planes they have to the West are amazing or something. More on that later. By 2006 – 2007 both Air India and Indian Airlines showed a combined loss of Rs 7.7 billion. After their merger to form “Indian” in March 2009, the losses went up to “JUST” Rs 72 billion.
There have been a number of reasons for the dismal fall – de – grace of our National Airline. But nothing can be worse than offering the most pathetic service, pathetic planes, pathetic crew who don’t even know how to behave with passengers, pathetic facilities basically everything “PATHETIC”. Even though the crew is old, they need to have basic etiquette’s while behaving with passengers. There have been many stories of hostesses or stewards shouting at passengers, asking them questions like “Tell me what do you want instead of What would you like to have sir” and not caring for them in any instance possible.
Most of the planes are literally like the government. Spoilt, centuries old (probably made in the previous century – though many of the new planes are pathetic because they are so defectively made as if the government was trying to save money), devoid of any servicing whatsoever (look at the Air India Regional formerly Alliance Air – its subsidiary’s planes lol…The way they are, it looks like they will break any time) and above all they all seem to have hundreds or thousands of problems. The incidents of a plane not taking off because of incidents like a rat being there on the plane or because of no water in the toilet are possible only on Indian. Failure in the hydraulic brake system, fire in any of the engines, pieces coming out of its wheels after take off and many more instances have happened over the years with amazing regularity that one has begin to wonder whether the government thinks that the people are dumb stupid fools.
The government has also a lot to be blamed for its failure. The big shots of the airline company could take their relatives for free for any number of days in a year on the airline. Even the ministers made so many trips without paying that one forgot whether it was a profit making airline or a “CHARITABLE” initiative. Everyone milked it as much as they could for their own uses. The increased slots and spots being given to the foreign airlines at our airports has also played a role in denting Indian’s financial prospects. And now the nail has been driven into the coffin with the decision to open the Middle East sector for private players (I am all for competition though). Here people would now prefer the private players because of better service and better planes rather than sitting in the world’s “SHITTIEST” flights of Indian.
The latest incident of Air India Express flight from Mumbai to Chennai being stranded for 7 hours in Mumbai with the passengers having to spend a horrendously large amount of time in the plane without even airconditioning confirms the fact that “Indian” is a disgrace to each and everything that is “INDIAN”.