To have one airline limping forward on the brink of bankruptcy may be regarded as a misfortune. To have two looks like carelessness. That is the fundamental problem for India’s aviation industry, home to the critically ill Jet Airways India Ltd. and its state-owned rival Air India Ltd., which more or less died in 2012 but has been kept on life support thanks to ongoing infusions of taxpayer cash.
Facing collapse, Jet has been trying to restructure its debt and seeking bailout money from founder Naresh Goyal and leading shareholder Etihad Airways PJSC. Should those attempts fail, PM Narendra Modi will have to explain the loss of 23,000 jobs ahead of the May elections.
Air India, known locally as the Maharajah, has been in similarly dire straits. An attempted privatisation last year attracted zero expressions of interest. Read More