Sunday, August 02, 2009

How Can You Resist ?



Google News is one of those imperfect pieces of technology. I use it, but it occasionally latches on to a strange story. So, yes, this isn’t exactly about my normal material...but how can you resist a headline like this ?

Grounded by air traffic control freaks

Actually, it’s a pretty good story. The free market crowd will love this point:

”To understand why private airlines are important you need to go back to the bad old days when Indian Airlines held us to ransom. Quite apart from the utter irresponsibility of its staff – for instance, the pilots chose to go on strike right after the demolition of the Babri Masjid as India burned — there was also the absence of choice. We had to travel Indian Airlines whether we liked it or not. And because Indian Airlines recognised this, it never really gave a damn about passengers. “

The anti-privatization crowd will like this point:

”Privatisation has actually worked to the disadvantage of airlines. Because the new owners of metro airports have not been able to make the kind of money they had expected (at least until they develop the real estate at which stage they will have a licence to print money), the government has allowed them to increase the amount they charge airlines. Since privatisation, charges at metro airports have risen by 82 per cent. What’s more, even passengers are now being made to cough up several hundred rupees for the airport owners each time they travel. “

Perhaps the fact that we’re talking about India will allow us to look at it a little more dispassionately and learn something.

Don Brown
August 2, 2009

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