There’s a lot of news coming out about aviation in India. Not all of them good ones in terms of the growth and the lack of ground infrastructure needed to sustain these new entrants. The other thing that comes out of this is the fact that most operators currently and those coming in new are all focusing on the main cities in India that we call Metro or trunk routes. That’s where the clogging occurs and airplane circle overhead for long periods of time waiting to land.
The regional routes are where the growth lies, using smaller Aircraft. That’s not where the Airlines, by and large, are headed. That’s another bad news. This country needs connectivity and we cannot wait for the Government to provide Air Services all the time. There are many routes that are feasible and profitable and there are routes that are not. This is true even in the United States of America. In the U.S. there are communities and cities and even a federal grant provided to operators to connect smaller towns to larger ones on a schedule basis. These grants are a part of the “Essential Services” grants provided by the Government. RegionsAir, Mesa Airlines and others in the U.S. provide these services under these provisions and are doing very well, thank you very much.
We in India sometimes are light years behind others when it comes to learning, planning and executing ideas although we are proud to call ourselves brilliant among all the others on this planet. There are so many things that can be done in aviation and the will to fund these types of business is lacking.
Parking a large Boeing 737 or the latest Airbus A320 and posing with a few cabin crew (of the female kind by the way) gets to the cover of any newspaper, magazine or T.V. Almost no other business in India commands the type of awe, respect or exposure that an Airline business does. That’s the wrong reason to get into this business because, no matter how big some of these chaps promoting Airlines in India are, this business has a nasty habit of backfiring.
So, wake up, you who are investing in Airlines in India, don’t ignore the teeming masses in the hinterland that are also looking for safe, reliable and convenient transportation. The real boom is yet to begin and it's not in the Metros.