The ailing Air India seems to be headed for more turbulence with plans to take on lease 19 Airbus A320 planes at a time when the economy is sluggish and the aviation sector is going through a downturn.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh appears to have given the goahead to the national carrier for following a similar policy that was adopted under Praful Patel’s tenure when Air India expanded its fleet size although the aviation market was going through a slump. The airline has ended up being crushed by a debt of over Rs.45,000 crore and accumulating huge losses.
Patel had defended the order for 111 new planes as essential for taking on the competition but the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s (CAG) subsequent audit report had termed the move “as a recipe for disaster”.
It seems the ‘Maharaja’ has not learnt a lesson despite the costly mistake and is going ahead with plans to splurge money on leasing more aircraft when there is excess capacity in the market and airlines are piling up losses.
Full report here India Today