The Economic Times, May 10
The article strongly advocates the privatisation of Air India.
The privatization of Air India is a complicated issue and it would be unfair to respond with a quick ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ without deliberating the pros and cons.
- Latest data shows signs of improvement in recent years
- Operating loss has been reduced to Rs2,636.19 crore in FY15 from Rs5,138 crore in FY12
- A big country like India needs an airline for connecting remote locations with poor seat occupancy ratio
- As a state-run enterprise, Air India continues to run on many loss-making routes
- Aircraft availability and more aggressive marketing have improved Air India’s performance and image
- Low air turbine fuel (ATF) prices have also reduced costs
- Air India has also plays an important role in crises, such as in the evacuation of Indians from Yemen in 2015 under Operation Rahat
A look at above facts show that any abrupt decision to privatise the national carrier is best avoided. Instead, waiting till the recovery is consistent and visible could be a win-win for both Air India and the state.
- Improved operational performance
- Operating loss reduced to Rs2,636.19 crore in FY15
- Aircraft availability, more aggressive marketing
- Low ATF reducing costs
- Plays an important role in crises
As part of the turnaround strategy for Air India, a number of steps have been initiated to cut costs and losses. The airline has also been improving its operational and financial performance.