Air India's GameBy IAG | March 14th, 2012 | Posted in Aviation News | 1 Comment
As if India did not have enough airline trouble. Kingfisher is pretty much maimed. Jet is bumbling along. Air India forces its way under the state's umbrella with no shame. Absent that cover, the airline would implode (and should have a long time ago). Reuters reports that India's airlines are likely to lose up to $3bn in the fiscal year ending March as its total debt swells to $20bn. Five of India's top six airlines are in the red.
To top off Air India's gall, how about this? Air India is seeking nearly $1bn from Boeing to compensate for the 787 delays. "Two weeks back they (Boeing) agreed to pay a little over $500 million. We are asking for more, we are talking to them," joint secretary at the ministry of civil aviation Prashant Sukul said on Wednesday. Its great to have the Ministry handling your negotiations with Boeing.
This demand comes from a company with $4bn in debt and depends on state support to continue operations. It also owes about $500m to oil companies and about $240m to airports.
Its a wonder that Boeing hasn't simply cancelled their order. Having Air India as a customer comes with a burden – dealing with incompetence at many levels. The public demand for compensation smacks of overplaying a hand the airline does not have. Worse, the hand is played by the state.