New book details the 'descent of Air India'

By Marc Castro

Oct 12, 2013 08:47 AM EDT

According to a tell-all book authoured by an Air India insider, the lack of acumen by management teams that were kow-towing to selfish politicians together with irresponsible employee action led to the demise of Air India. The insider, Air India's former executive director Jitendra Bhargava points out former CMD V Thulasidis and ex Aviation Miniter Praful Pratel as the major player that brought about 'the descent of Air India'. This is also the title of the all revealing book.

Bhargava called out the government saying "AI had long nurtured a grouse against the government for not supporting its aircraft acquisition plan... the board finally approved an order for 28 aircraft - 10 long range and 18 short range in November 2003... Patel, in a meeting held in the civil aviation ministry on August 2, 2004, asked both AI and Indian Airlines to revisit their fleet acquisition plans."

The book narrated, "IA rejected the suggestion and stuck to its original demand for 43 aircraft.  Praful Patel, V Thulasidas, a few (others) lent support to increase (AI's) long haul aircraft from 10 to a staggering 50. The price AI would have to pay was an astronomical INR40,000 crore... It was clear that little thought was being given to the airline's ability to service the debt that was to be incurred for the new purchases."

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